source: Alisa's Photos

Journey to the Crown: Just Breathe and Have Fun


Feeling an immense amount of pressure to succeed is pretty typical for a college student. Balancing classes, internships, clubs, and some sort of social life can be quite challenging. And sometimes we forget that we are not super human, and we need to take time out of our busy week to breathe and have fun! While this concept may seem obvious to many, going to parties or just spending a night with friends can be difficult for me, especially after winning Miss Central Pennsylvania. I felt excessive pressure from myself and my family to achieve academic excellence, and utilize my position as a title holder for the Miss America Organization to truly make an impact in my community.

For the past two weeks, I felt like I had to be productive throughout every hour of the day. If I wasn't studying I was in class, and if I wasn’t in class I was at the gym, and if I wasn’t at the gym I was planning an event, and the list continues. My friends would go out on weekends and I became envious of them because I felt like I had to sacrifice the “fun” aspect of college. As foolish as it might sound, I didn't think I could have fun and be the best Miss Central Pennsylvania I can be while striving for Dean’s list. I told myself, “You can’t have it all.”

However, I realized that working myself into the ground and depriving myself of social events would do more harm than good. It's all about having a balance, and for the past couple of weeks I did not have that balance.

I started snapping at my friends for the smallest things, and I had a nagging headache that made me even more frustrated and agitated with my current situation.

Finally, I put my work down, hid my computer in my room, and forced myself to go out with my friends. What a difference did one night make! I had such a great time dancing to music and spending time with the people I truly love. I woke up the next day without a headache, my spirits were lifted, and I was back to the upbeat Alisa that I know and love.

While I understand that college is one of the most vital time periods in our lives, we cannot become so consumed in our school work and responsibilities that we prohibit ourselves from having fun! Whether you're dancing the night away, reading a book, or curled up in your bed watching Netflix, taking time for yourself is crucial to your mental and physical well-being.

Alisa Vasquez is a sophomore at The Pennsylvania State University. Her passion for journalism began as a senior in high school when she was one of the anchors for Blue and Gold Television. In addition to being on air, she also enjoys using her love for writing as a platform to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Her dream is to land a spot on Good Morning America, in addition to inspiring young women through her love for fitness. She understands the significance and power of living a healthy lifestyle, and wants to share that desire with young women across the country.