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When the school year ends

Every year, I tell myself that things will be different in May. During these golden weeks between the end of the school year and the start of summer internships, I will take care of all the things I have stored in the back of my head. From an excess of time, an idealized and optimized version of myself will emerge.

I spent the whole month of April planning for May. I needed to put some money in my 401K, start training for a half marathon, finally cut my bangs, get back into crocheting, etc. But when the finals ended and May arrived, I found myself overwhelmed with a special feeling. The stress of the semester never really subsided and the motivation turned into burnout. I sat on my porch with my roommates, laughing and drinking margaritas, internally freaking out about my endless to-do list. I would walk through the spring flowers, hand in hand with my boyfriend, silently overwhelmed by all the ways I could be productive or improve myself that day.

Year after year, I find myself in a post-semester panic. Rather than letting myself rest, I decide to really force myself – to read more books, to apply to more graduate programs, to work more hours. Given the post-semester burnout, these goals are often overambitious at best and completely unrealistic at worst. I never complete my to-do list; which means I didn’t allow myself to relax, but I didn’t accomplish anything either.

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