Real-life experiences—now

tumblr_mdx4zhRtuI1qzmvtgo1_500Today I felt everything piling up on me. All of these programs I’m working for, all of these projects I’m juggling as new tasks are assigned… There simply is not enough time or energy available for me to do it all.

At the same time, while constantly shifting around from program to program, how am I supposed to shut my brain off from my previous task, conversation or idea I’m working on?

You can’t.

And I get myself in this situation a lot. I spread myself too thin.

Why do I keep doing this?

Because I care.

Because I want to help.

Because I think I can do it all by myself…

But that’s not reality.

My emotions are all twisted into knots, I am exhausted and my head is pounding. It’s almost a relief when I feel myself getting to this breaking point and I am in the process of slowly untangling this web I’ve created inside myself.

I stumbled upon this Semester at Sea video today and was a good reminder for myself of a few things:

1. How crucial it is to have real-life, practical experiences. Not later, but NOW—especially while in high school and college. You simply cannot go through the motions of attending class, getting decent grades and expecting job to fall into your lap upon graduation.

2. You need to go beyond learning in the classroom, beyond reading words from a book.

3. Studying abroad, internships, or volunteer experiences not only give you that opportunity to apply what you’ve learned to real situations, but they also help you grow so much as a person. They challenge and stretch you in more ways than I could have ever imagined…

4. Lastly, I am blown away by my experiences from Semester at Sea. I certainly would not be where I am today without jumping onboard ship and I am so grateful…

“If you really want to tackle real problems in the world, you have to be out in the world.” ~George Kembel, Founder and Executive Director of the world-renown Stanford d.school

If I could tackle four months traveling in the most vulnerable, unfamiliar places around the world while connecting with others and finding purpose and meaning, I certainly can overcome anything that’s thrown at me the next year here and continue to jump these hurdles.

Here’s to one more day left in a long, 60-hour workweek…

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