There has always been something exceptionally exciting to me about the turn of a calendar. It is a chance to reflect on the year I have just finished and figure out how to make the most of my fresh start. I wouldn't say 2016 was a hard year for me, but then again it also wasn't an easy one. It was definitely a year of growth.
I felt that school was consuming most of my time, and I was right. I pretty much was in the exciting routine of waking up, going to class, looking forward to lunch, going to class, working, studying and then sleeping. Trust me, it wasn't any more exciting than it sounds. The harsh reality that I had a few more years of this started to sink in and the feeling of being burnt out seemed impossible to avoid at the rate I was going. I knew I needed to make a change, I just needed to figure out what that change would be.
My thought process went something like this:
• Your routine is not fun...fix it.
• Cramming for exams is not going to help your sanity...stop it.
• You enjoy having time to yourself...make time.
After the reality that these things were all easily fixable, I decided to dive into a new routine. Rather than cram for my exams I started to set reasonable study schedules, giving myself more than enough time to digest the material. How I had never thought of this before I will never know, but OH MY GOSH did this lower my test anxiety (totally self-diagnosed). I also started to incorporate things that made me happy into my weekly schedule; clean eating, working out, self-reflection and my favorite...time with friends! These things had seemed so out of reach until I realized it was me who was making them unreachable. I started living each day to better myself, and I instantly felt the change. I had finally learned how to take control of my days.
Overall, I found that balance made this past year not only doable but completely worth it. A clear mind and schedule left me the time I needed to develop a deeper passion for not only the career I am pursuing but for the city in which I am pursuing it. While I dreaded my winter break in Omaha coming to an end, I found myself secretly excited to be heading back to Kansas City. This place that was so unfamiliar 1 1/2 years ago had become my home.
I spent my three-hour drive back to Kansas recognizing how much I have changed as a person in the last year. I am still me, but I would like to think I have become a better version of myself. I have learned the importance of responsibility and commitment needed to get through this program, and I feel proud. I am proud not only of who I was last year but of who I am at the start of this new year, proud of my family for their constant support, and of my decision to pursue my Doctor of Chiropractic degree without looking back. I have expanded horizons and my goals have grown.
As for what's next...bring it on 2017!