The Charger Blog

Nutrition Sciences Major: ‘Take Time to Reflect on Your Life’

As the semester winds down, Beatrice Glaviano ’26 looks back on the academic year. She discusses her goals, burnout, and lessons she’s learned while encouraging her fellow Chargers to take the time to consider their own goals and motivations.

April 30, 2024

By Beatrice Glaviano ’26

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 (center) with her classmates.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 (center) with her classmates.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I need summer vacation more than ever.

Life lately, needless to say, has been progressively challenging. It’s not because my workload is very heavy or that I’m “struggling” in any of my classes. I’m just aggressively burnt out. Very, very aggressively burnt out. My lowest grade is an 84 in orgo lab (I’m not good at reports lol), and everything else is a 90 or more. I’m doing just fine academically, but spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally? Absolutely drained. I need some summer sun right now; I need days where I’m not worrying about the next assignment or the dread of waking up late in the morning.

I’ve lucked out in the sense that I only have one final exam (orgo) before I end the academic year, but, on the flipside, I have to re-take my medical examination for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) psychomotor exam and pass the written portion of the NREMT in order to get my licensure. Both are nerve wracking, and if I fail the written test, I’ll fail the class as well.

No pressure.

As of right now, I don’t know what I’m doing. I know that it seems like I know what I’m doing and that my life is some really cool aesthetic college “experience,” but honestly? I am making things up as I go along. Do I actually know what I want to do with the rest of my life? Uh, nope. I was in deep conversation last night (night talks are best talks) and I came to a realization that what I want to do with my life totals up to:

  1. Help people
  2. Have fun helping people
  3. Make bank
  4. Stay safe
  5. Learn

I feel like this is a pretty fair list as a whole. From what I’ve heard from other people, this is a common trend in those approaching twenty or just in their twenties: Not everyone knows what they’re doing or where they’re going, but only that they’re doing something rather than nothing.

Being so honest with everyone here, I feel so, so very defeated. I don’t even know why. I have an awesome life; I have a source of income, amazing friends, a school that I love, and a life that many (I believe) would want the chance of living. Granted, not every moment is fabulous, but it’s better than the life most people in America live and I’m extremely, extremely grateful for that.

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 enjoys a tasty omelet.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 enjoys a tasty omelet.

Author sighs, taking a sip of water and looking out the window.

I’ve always believed that there is something to learn from failure. They always say that you cannot move through life without challenge because you won’t grow into the person you’re meant to be. But what they don’t tell you is how badly failure hurts. The shame. The disappointment – not even in who you are, but in the person who people expect you to be, and who you expect yourself to be. But then comes re-building, I guess. Cementing a pre-existing foundation or something smart sounding like that.

I wonder if any of you feel or have felt this way. I wonder what advice you’d have to offer me, or to anyone else who’s just going through the “Ring of Fail.”

Right now, I don’t want my life to be wasted. I don’t think I’d ever want to waste it, come to think of it lol. However, I am quite determined to spend my summer doing fun things even if I make less money. That’s another lesson I’ve learned, I guess: Life isn’t supposed to be about money. Yeah, we circle the drain with debt and taxes and stupid grocery prices that are outrageous, but we never drown. Life isn’t meant to be easy because it’s meant to be an experience, like hiking.

You might fall down and scrape yourself, but the view at the end is always worth it

That’s what I want my life to amount to: a view that I can admire.

I want to do things that matter. I want to be a part of my community and serve that community. After that deep conversation last night, I discovered that I really do have an innate love for plants. What’s more is that I have a similar affinity for research, as well as learning in general. Maybe there is some sort of light at the end of the tunnel here, but as our conversation goes:

Friend: “So...what happens when you reach that light?”

Me, dumbfounded: “...get a tan?”

That’s something I do like about myself – cracking jokes despite heavy situations. Anyhow, I’d never thought that far in my life. What do I do at the end of that tunnel? Even if I can appreciate the view, I can’t stay on that mountain forever.

Ugh, why does life have to be so life-y? Is it always like this????

Whatever the case, I’m going to try and think positively. My therapist tells me to talk and treat myself like a good friend of mine, so I’ll give that a whirl at one point or another. Anyhow, to the other ’04 babies and those in their 20s, you’re not alone in the “everything I do feels dumb and meaningless” struggle. I’m there with you, 100 percent. I’m not saying that we deserve to be feeling like this, or that this will come to a complete end, but I will say that things get better.

Even if I don’t fully believe that myself.

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 has some fun with her classmates.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 has some fun with her classmates.

As finals are coming up, I encourage all of you (I know staff, faculty, and parents read my blog, so this also includes you) to just take time to reflect on your life. What have you done? What accomplishments meant the world to me? What were your failures? Did you learn from them and pass those lessons on? For students like myself, hang in there. We are so, so close to the end of the semester, and we just need to grind out a few more weeks. It’s going to be okay.

Read that again.

It’s going to be okay.

Who you amount to in your life will be fantastic. UNew51 has some of the brightest, most hilarious, integral, and hard-working students I’ve ever seen in my life, and if you can make it here, I am sure you can make it anywhere. Believe in yourself, because others believe in you, dude.

I hope everyone is having the best week that they can, and please make sure to take a nap if you can swing it. All my love to you guys, always.

With peace, love, and plenty of peanut butter,
Beatrice ❤️

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 is a nutrition sciences major at the University of New 51.