A Human’s Amended Hierarchy of Needs

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Another week down and if I’m being honest, this was a rough one. It’s midterm season and even though I’m ahead of my classes and all I had was a project review, sometimes I think we forget that all of us students or workers or marines etc. are humans first.

We have to attend to our human selves before we can even begin to think about anything else.

Yet, we tend not to. We say that we can sleep when we’re dead or make up for it tomorrow or do something another day, but it tends to add up you know?

It can be a lot.

On top of the classes and work and campus involvement, my body has been telling me to slow down and I can’t really say that I’ve been listening. So the migraines and exhaustion and overall red flags decided to crank it up a notch.

Now I can’t ignore it.

So today, I don’t have classes. I’ve instead caught up with an old friend, seen a really cute dog, and slept a bit extra. As much as it was a rest and recharge kind of day, I still feel like there’s work I need to do and I should stay ahead of my classes or attend to this thing as well…

There’s almost always more to do.

Our culture tends to be a go go go kind of vibe that isn’t always great for us as human beings. Sure, we are productive and maybe get the things we need to do done. And sure, we would like to think our work lives are thriving.

But do we?

Are they?

I’m honestly not so sure that they are.

In the same way that every single one of us is made up of intersections in our identities from what we believe in to what makes us up, our lives are too.

The quality of our lives are made up of our social circles, our personal lives, professional atmospheres, the way we think, how we’re treated by others, how we work, and so much more. That’s why spilling coffee on your way to work impacts you just as much as maybe someone not holding the door open for you when your hands are full.

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I know, those examples are small and aren’t that impactful, but they add up in the same way our work lives do with deadlines and projects and assignments, etc.

When I say take care of yourself or have a good weekend, I mean every aspect of your weekend. I hope you eat well and enjoy the food, I hope you sleep well and get some rest, I hope you work well and get what you want done, and I also hope you relax well and really do take some time for yourself.

Upset even one of those things and it offsets the balance of everything else.

It’s like that triangle of things where we’re only allowed to succeed in two in college. There’s the social life at the top, good work, on the right, and personal needs on the left. A running joke among college kids is that we’re never allowed to find a balance in all three because one will always affect the other.

We’re not wrong—not quite anyway.

When it comes to the concept of “balance” we decide what takes priority over other things. It’s not about being perfect in everything, whatever that means, but about creating an equity in the way you treat the different aspects of your life.

Let’s take three things that each of us need to pay attention to on a regular basis: sleep, nutrition, and social lives. Some of us can run off 4 hours of sleep a night and be fine—you shouldn’t, as that can really impact your health down the road, but do your thing—some of us need at least 8. In the same way, some of us eat maybe two meals a day with snacks in between and others eat five meals a day. Or in our social lives, some people need their people every single day while others can check in every few days and be fine with that.

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Our definitions of what is enough is very different because every single one of us is a very different person from the next.

The problem lies in the fact that we do not treat ourselves as such. I just want to know why.

Ultimately, the priorities of our society often align with productivity and work at the top of the list due to the values of American culture. I can’t say I know how that happened or how to change it beyond just ourselves, but in my perspective, this is the status quo.

It doesn’t have to be for all of us.

For me, that prioritization really isn’t working my body is now constantly reminding me of this. If I’m more or less constantly exhausted, missing something of satisfaction in my social life, and ahead of my academic life and still not quite happy with it, I need to change something. It’s as simple as that.

As human beings, we need to listen to the changes we ask for of ourselves. I haven’t been doing that and it shows. Sure, maybe finding what that looks like for me will be a longer journey and more work than I want it to be but it’s worth it isn’t it? Life’s too short to live as less than we deserve if we have control over something that can make that better.

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So on this Friday, I have a single question for you. You don’t have to answer to me—though you’re welcome to in the comments if you want to share a little about yourself—but I want you to at least think about it for yourself. Understand the answer and acknowledge what you can do for yourself here. It’s simple, really:

Are you treating yourself like someone you love?


With that, happy Friday. 

Leaning into Senior Year Changes

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Another week of my senior year is over, and if the lines of students buying scantrons in the University Store were any indication, I’d say it’s the beginning of midterm season.

The kind that doesn’t really end until finals begin.

Personally though, I can’t say that I’m feeling a whole lot of stress. Somehow, I’m still ahead in almost all of my classes, I’ve written two 1000+ word papers that aren’t due for a while, and my study plans are already set for when midterms and finals do finally come around.

Truly, I can’t tell you the last time I was this on top of things… Probably fall quarter my sophomore year.

Just because I’m ahead of the game though, doesn’t mean that I’m coasting through this school year. If anything, this is probably my most challenging quarter on the creative side of things. And it only gets tougher from here.

As an english major, I can write you an essay, plead to the humanistic or logical side of things, and understand literary theory/criticism (if you give me an hour at least) any day. 

As a Creative Writing emphasis student with a Media, Arts, Society, and Tech minor, writing a well balanced and interesting story or creating a digital render of a sand dollar that covers expression, technical lines, gesture lines, and symbol qualities are a little outside my norms.

It literally gives me headaches.

On the realistic side of things though, it’s probably not the material or the work giving me headaches. And the new kind of work I’m doing, well, it’s new. Here’s why that’s important.

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Have you ever watched little kids try to play soccer or basketball, any kind of sport really, and recognized how bad a lot of them were starting out? Growing into our bodies, I can’t say that we’re born knowing how to dribble a ball and throw it perfectly or how to kick something without the rest of our bodies moving too. That’s why we practice. 

Even while I started getting into digital art back in high school, I hadn’t touched it in college until this past summer when I chose to take a refresher course online. I’ll be honest, I am not that good. And if you ever ask me to draw a face of any kind… You will be sorely disappointed—for now.

Because here’s the thing, even while I’m doing work that I’m not used to and trying programs that I never thought I would get to touch, it’s exciting. Because I know that it’s a good fit for me.

Between my creative writing workshop, literary theory seminal, intro to science and tech interdisciplinary studies, and digital class, my life looks very different than it did last quarter. Last quarter, I went from one english class to another, all of which had a whole lot of readings and far too many things to remember. Now, I get to use my head and my own comprehension along with my creative skills and imagination. I can’t say that I’m good at what I’m doing quite yet, but I’m passionate about it. And I know exactly where I want to go with it.

That says a lot.

Unlike a lot of other students right now, I’m not stressed even with week 4 upon us soon enough. I’m still ahead of my work, my study guides are being finished, my classes are being attended no matter how surface level they can get, and I’m working hard. That, and I’ve been doing a little more playing hard every weekend with my roommate too—lemme tell ya, dancing is good for the soul.

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So yes, my classes are hard and there are some things that I am really bad at right now. Sure, it’s midterm season and I’m trying to stay on top of all my material. But also, classes are interesting and I know these are things that I actually want to learn about. I’m finding a better balance in this whole college thing.

Took me 4 years, but like I said, it takes time to get good at something. And even if I’ve gotten that far, I know I still have a whole lot to learn.

This time, I think I’m open to whatever comes next.


Have a good weekend everyone.

Giving in to the Temporary

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I am a sentimental person, I think we’ve all established that by now. There are a lot of things, from the simplicity of college years to my relationships, that I like to keep for as long as possible—even when I know that all of it is temporary. I forget that sometimes, that can be a good thing.

Let me explain.


First of all, things that are supposed to last a while have a whole lot of pressure on them. From our expectations, our time, and the effort we do (or don’t) put into it, it’s all there. It can get overwhelming.

Because when you expect so much from one thing, whether it’s time or strength, etc. it probably also takes a whole lot of you to keep it going. Even when they’re not supposed to.

Just like our teenage years, our college years do not go on for an infinite number of days. If they did, I know I wouldn’t put so much effort into my classes. I also wouldn’t feel the need to put time into my relationships or learning or even adventuring, because I would have all the time to do it later.

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That just isn’t as fun.

You know how they say people are meant to come into your life and leave once they’re impact is done? While I can’t say I agree that it can be boiled down to that, I can say that it says a lot about what we ask of others.

Of ourselves.

If I went around asking someone to marry me, but only if we dated for six years after moving in together for two with out life plans mapped out… It wouldn’t go well. For some people, there is always such a thing of asking too much.

Here’s why I’m bringing this all up now.

It’s my senior year of college and I’m starting to lose track of who I do and don’t know on campus. From my WOWies and OL’s and now both of their own WOWies, to my adings or coworkers, the connections are almost endless. And some connections are not going to last me through to the time I graduate.

I have to be okay with that.

Maybe some of them are the people I go out with and that lasts us through for a couple months. Whether something big breaks up the group or we all just stop going out together, that doesn’t have anything to do with how much fun we could have right now.

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When it comes to my relationships, my time, and my commitments, I need to learn to give in to the temporary. I think maybe a lot of us do.

Take WOW Team for example—I spent so much time and effort and my existence on doing a good job for CCE and the people in it. Part of me forgot that by the end of The Week, all the students would have had their orientation, my WOWies would have their own, and my job would be coming to an end. After all, the “job” was never going to last forever even if maybe a few of the friendships do. Or maybe they don’t. What I’m saying is that we shouldn’t let that part shouldn’t matter so much, not if it only gets in the way.

After all, this life is something we’re supposed to be living. We go out to new places, experience new things or take on new challenges, and we grow. That goes for everyone, including the people in our own lives. So as they come and go, as we change our jobs or cities or past times, we also remember to take a step back and really appreciate it.

I know, sometimes I wish that in the best moments, all things could last forever in just that way. But they can’t and you know something? It’s exhausting trying to hold something together when it’s meant to fall apart. We shouldn’t have to, I know I have in the past and maybe I’m learning that I don’t have to either.

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Because I’ve got only this last year of college left before something new and most likely temporary comes along. That’s a single year to enjoy the last of my largest years of growth and connection. From parties and going downtown to late night session or bike nights, it won’t last forever.

If it did, it wouldn’t matter so much.


Maybe there’s something you need to let go of today, or a little less pressure you need to hold it to. Do it. Change your standards, just a little bit. You might be surprised what that feels like, the freedom it can allow you.

Who knows, maybe it’ll lead you to living your best life. I know that’s my goal.

Happy Friday everyone, see you next week.