Dear younger me: How you’ll learn to pilot a balanced life

September 15, 2020

Dear Younger Megan,

I am writing you this letter sitting in an apartment in a big city just like you always dreamed of. After reading this message, I hope two things: first, you listen to the advice I bestow upon you because I know how stubborn you can be. Second and more importantly, I hope this information allows you to successfully pilot a balanced life through a calculated trifecta of wellness and harmony.

In a few years, you’ll have an amazing high school career and end up traveling across the country from Atlanta to San Francisco to attend college and play collegiate basketball. You become an NCAA athlete, moot court vice president, clerking at the Hall of Justice, a member and soon to be president of Pi Sigma Alpha, 4.0 student, and Pearson Campus Ambassador. You hit some bumps along the way which include a horrific injury which ends your college athletic career, but overall, you do pretty well for yourself. You may be wondering how you got to where I am, and my answer comes in one word: balance. The balance I seek every day in my life has three distinct sides creating a foolproof triangle: social, physical, and mental.


The first point of the triangle is social. You need to find yourself a community. For you, it will start with the sports community as an athlete, but then you will begin to branch out to students in your class. Make sure to hang out with your friends and make time for them. Grades and work are important, but remember, establishing a community is a crucial part of maintaining a balanced life.


Equally important, the physical component of the trifecta feeds positivity to the other two sides. For you, working out every day is key. Whether it is a quick three mile run or a heavy lift in the weight room, there is no better feeling than a good sweat. The gym is an amazing place to make like-minded friends grinding for similar goals. More to the point, working out creates endorphins which make you naturally happy, as well as contributing to a more natural sleep pattern. As a college student, keeping your body physically fit allows you to not only be happy, make friends, and feel great, but it also helps you stay focused throughout the day.


Arguably the most important and hardest to grab hold of, the mental aspect of balance presents a conquerable challenge. Of course, there is no such thing as perfection; however, there are numerous ways to achieve happiness and equilibrium in this area of life.

  • First, take time for yourself. For you, taking one night a week to do a facemask, read a mystery novel, and eat a bowl of ice cream with your roommates will give you the mental check-in you deserve to make sure you are okay.
  • Second, stay organized. You keep a very colorful and organized paper planner which you live by.
  • Third, try meditation. You start to meditate freshman year of college, and will find it to be a transcending experience.

My best advice is to do daily check-ins with yourself before going to sleep and ask yourself if you are okay and what you plan to do differently the next day.

With that, I leave you with the notion: you will be successful in everything you do when you find your balance whatever it may be. By paying attention to your social, physical, and mental wellness, you will pilot your way to success!



Pearson Students: How do you find your balance?  What would you say in a letter to your younger self? Share your ideas in the comments below.


Megan Cistulli is a student at University of California, Berkeley studying political science. She is a Pearson Campus Ambassador for her campus and is also involved in moot court and Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. Megan has worked for the Superior Court of San Francisco at the Hall of Justice. In her free time, she loves to kayak, paddleboard, read novels, and play basketball, as she used to play at the collegiate level.



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