A Step Forward #7


Shane McGinnis

Illustration by Miranda Sepulveda

Let me reintroduce myself. My name is Shane McGinnis, and I’m still a 20-year-old kid trying to find myself in college. I still don’t know what I want to do in the future, but I do know that I’m growing as a person. This is my last blog of the semester, and I wanted to use it to reflect on the path we set out on with the first post back in February. Looking back, I feel like I’ve accomplished a few things, so now it’s time to discuss. 

In February, I said I was going to exercise consistently. Exercise was something that fell out of my life a little bit when college came around, and I wanted to get back into it. I felt that both my mental and physical well-being benefited when I got outside and into the gym on a regular basis. I’m glad to say that I succeeded in this goal and actually ran my first marathon last Sunday. It was a nice cap to several months of training, and I started to love exercise again. I went on 15 and 20-mile runs for my training, and I began to look forward to them as a chance to relax and decompress after a long week. 

The mental benefits of running were something I always knew existed, but it wasn’t something I had experienced fully for myself. This semester brought with it a lot of stress with a lack of outlets to get rid of that stress. Classes constantly emailed about deadlines and announcements, but there weren’t events or opportunities to get out of the house. For me, running turned into that outlet. It was a consistent time for me to be out of contact with teachers and classmates for at least a few minutes every day. 

Here’s the time where I need to be honest. It hasn’t been only successes in my quest to be a better person. One of my biggest struggles has been staying organized, both physically and mentally. Organizing my room started off so well. I was able to come up with a system in my dorm room. There was a place for everything, and there was never a question where things would be put when I got back from work or dinner. This whole system has gone out the window now that I moved home for the summer. The places that all of my possessions had in my dorm room are now nonexistent. Now I am starting from scratch at home and figuring it out as I go for a second time.

Earlier in the semester, I brought up my thoughts on mental organization. I planned on taking time every day to prepare and go over my schedule for the next day. While living in a dorm, this worked well. I started to slip into a routine when it came to daily plans and weekly assignments. This was again stunted when I moved home. Now there are more distractions, and I’m less motivated to study. It has taken much more work to stay on top of projects and get motivated. 

Overall, this semester has been a big period of growth for me, but there’s a lot more to go. While I don’t think I’m completely past the feelings of being overwhelmed by the future, the outlook of getting slightly better every day has been good for me. It has allowed me to feel successful, even if I haven’t reached some big overarching goal. Even if this blog is coming to an end, the things I’ve put into practice are going to continue on. I’m going to continue taking small steps every day and soon enough, I’ll be where I want to be.