The next few months seem to be brimming with opportunity. Opportunity often brings me feelings of anticipation, but recently, fear. I say fear coming from the workload I’ll have in the fall semester.

I applied to the Washington Semester Program for Fall 2019. I’ll be at the nation’s capital taking courses on American governance and policy. On top of that, I will be interning at an organization of my choosing. Since I’m passionate in education equity, I’m applying to work for the National Education Association. Being able to do a semester “abroad” is exciting, but I am afraid about keeping up with the work I’ll be tasked to do. I’ll have a full courseload along with an internship. A full courseload is intense on its own; combining an internship with that is intense squared. I am worried I will be overwhelmed by the work.

But there is help! My cohort shares many of the same classes, so that means if I can team up with some classmates, we can work on assignments together. That lessens the heavy lifting for each of us. There will be a catered dinner once a week, a dinner shared among classmates. From the virtual Orientation this past week, I learned that the advisor at DC is creating a list of fun events to do in DC during the semester. I can only imagine what seasonal festivities are in store. I also will ask my older brother who at DC for recommendations for places to eat and events to go to. Having a home-cooked meal at his place from time to time will save me money.

Keeping in mind that DC is a much faster-paced city than Pittsburgh, it is essential that I balance my time. I already know from my experience in college that there’s always more happening than I have time for, so I will need to prioritize.

And most of all, I need to prioritize myself. My time. My energy. My goals. My work. In a new semester, I renew my resolution to prioritize me. I dedicate my time and energy on myself and what I strive to do. That means reserving time on weekends to read for leisure. That means going to exercise three times a week, even if that means doing jumping jacks in my room. That means listening to my body more. If I pulled an all-nighter Thursday night (which I intend not to have happen), then I am taking a nap Friday after work instead of going out for dinner.

By investing in myself, that will restore faith in myself and will keep my motivation alight. I can make it this semester if I nourish myself through my time and energy. Thinking this way helps to calm my nerves, in knowing that I am able to help myself. That I know how to get help. And I wish for you all to do the same. Take care of yourself. Remember to dedicate your time to yourself. Be kind to yourself because you matter.