Holistic Wellness Part 1: Growing in the Balance
Editor’s note: This article was originally given as a speech at the annual Student Affairs State of Division on October 7, 2021. Natalia Nava-Urbina is a senior studying Business Administration at UC Berkeley and a Fiat Lux Scholar. If you’re looking for a scholarship or need help finding one, contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.
Back in Spring of 2020, after the school went remote, I moved back to my hometown of Salinas, California. I settled into the room that I grew up sharing with my sister, and on our bedroom door hung a poster with a CSU system logo. Throughout middle and high school that poster was my daily reminder to do my best in all that I endeavor in order to reach my goal of attending college. During the pandemic as I took my classes online, I would see this poster and it no longer served its original purpose—the poster became a source that made me reflect upon my role as a student at UC Berkeley.
Learning When to Accept and Release
During the pandemic, I would often reflect and recognize that throughout my time at Cal since I was a freshman, I believed that overworking was the only way I could survive and thrive at Cal. I used to think that one mistake could ruin my chances of preparing for my future after college. Throughout my first two years at Cal, I accepted those thoughts and they were always living at the back of my mind. During the pandemic, I realized that those ideas were not healthy, they were not allowing me to grow academically and professionally.
Self-Growth Helps Me Support Others
Accepting the fact that my way of thinking was not healthy took a toll on me during the pandemic because not only was I trying to change my mindset but I was also trying to be a supportive sister to my three younger sisters, a supportive daughter to my parents, a supportive friend, and a supportive leader within the groups I am a part of at Berkeley. During 2020 I read books from psychologists and I learned about actionable steps I could take to develop a mindset that helped me achieve more balance as a student, friend, and community leader on school clubs like the Latinx Business Student Association.
Finding Balance is a Journey
To this day, I am continuously working on finding the right balance. These past few weeks, being back on campus, I have felt energized when I am surrounded by fellow leaders within the organizations I am part of. Together we work towards uplifting underrepresented communities. As a Vice President of The Latinx Business Student Association I work alongside students; we provide resources and services to help students prepare for a career in business. As a Vice President at Paragon Consulting, I work alongside students on pro-bono consulting services for small businesses owners from underrepresented backgrounds in the Bay Area. As a student leader on campus, I am empowered by sharing space with fellow students who are also navigating classes, meanwhile uplifting underrepresented communities during these challenging times.
I do envision a future where students who look like me, first-generation and Latinx, continue leading organizations. I also envision a future where student leaders, like me, can share conversations with administration leaders so that together we can listen to student needs and help students complete their degrees, prepare for a future career, and excel in all their endeavors.
Natalia Nava-Urbina is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in business administration at Haas School of Business. Featured photo by Brittany Hosea-Small.