Academic Survival
Feb. 27, 2023

4. Velmar Amador-Lankster: Balancing Emotions & Academics for College Success

4. Velmar Amador-Lankster: Balancing Emotions & Academics for College Success

Velmar learns to balance work, school, and relationships as she finds strength and emotional support in college.

"I told myself in college I wouldn't do that because I came out of high school with literally no close friends, because I failed to build on friendships that I could have had because I was so focused on school. And what's important to you should be your priority."

Velmar Amador-Lankster is a 1st-year student at UC San Diego, double majoring in Political Science: Public Law, and Sociology, Law, and Society. She is a strong writer, and is learning to balance her academic and personal life.

19-year-old Velmar Amador-Lankster had neglected to build meaningful relationships during high school due to her heavy course load and focus on academics. At UC San Diego, she was determined to nurture those connections and find a balance between work, school and relaxation. With the support of her family, friends, and God, Velmar began to learn how to trust in herself and make decisions that would benefit her emotional well-being. Despite the challenges she had to face, Velmar found purpose in college and a newfound strength in writing.

In this episode, you will learn the following:
1. How Velmar is managing the challenge of a large university, and how her high school experience prepared her for this challenge.
2. How she is balancing her academic workload with her emotional well-being and social life in college.
3. Her newfound realization that she needs to rely on herself and on God to achieve success in college.

Other episodes you'll enjoy:
Balancing Preferences & Priorities: Darrell Horn's College Journey

Academic Endurance, Overcoming Challenges, and Self-Reflection with Ahmara Watson

Nico Morales: From Addict to Author - Substance Abuse and Transformation

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Episode Summaries:

Nearly 30% of students drop out of college their first year. Velmar Amador-Lankster is a freshman at UC San Diego. On this episode, we'll be talking about her emotional well-being, nurturing relationships, and balance.

The Academic Survival podcast aims to move from academic survival to academic self-discipline. Velmar Amador-Lankster is a first-year student at UC San Diego. She talks about her first quarter of college and developing self-discipline techniques.

UC San Diego is broken up into different, smaller colleges within the larger college. Are they broken up by discipline or by major? My first day of college was September 17.  I'm a double major in Political Science: Public Law and Sociology.

High school definitely prepared me for the academic rigor of college. College is a lot more flexible, and so you have to manage your own time and schedule. High school misses the mark in the area of just preparing you to be on your own.

I cannot handle four courses my first quarter of college and so many hours of work per week. I even talked to my manager to see if I could reduce my hours. My parents have always been very lenient with me in terms of being very understanding. I'm just doing what I feel is bright and smart for my future.

UC San Diego student says coming to school was one of the best decisions she's ever made. The other school she was considering was USC, but it was just not financially smart. She decided to go to a school that's more economical.

College has just kind of clearly showed me that I really have a strength in writing. But sometimes my writing style isn't as concise as I should be. I'm trying to maintain a better balance between work, school, and relaxing.

College has shown me that you need to have belief in yourself. And when you can't rely on yourself, you need to rely on God. I'm definitely trying to focus on things I can change and things I cannot change. There needs to be a certain point where you're just like, I did my best and now I leave it up to God.

I think for emotional support, where I go first is usually to my parents and my sister Ahmara. And then also for me, the Joel Osteen podcast. I also love listening to music, like all kinds of music. It definitely relaxes me as well.

Five weeks in, have you experienced a sense of being overwhelmed at all? Shandra, I think last week was probably the time where all of that sense of feeling overwhelmed just came to a point.


We'll be back next week with more ways to survive your academic journey.


Velmar Amador-LanksterProfile Photo

Velmar Amador-Lankster

First year student at UCSD, double majoring in Political Science and Sociology