For anyone trying to get through the last few weeks of the semester, here’s an interesting read on life as a college student.
Classes are hard, you will have back to back tests in one week, or if you’re really unlucky, you’ll have back to back tests in one day. You’re going to try your hardest, you’re going to study for a days, and you’re not going to get the grades you want. At some point, it is going to affect your self confidence, you’re going to feel unworthy, or not smart enough, or good enough.
I want you to remember: I’ve had to have multiple people tell me on many occasions, that my self worthy is not based on a grade, and I have to constantly remind myself that, because they’re right. You need to remember that you are enough, you are smart enough, and good enough to be at whatever institution you are at. College is made to challenge you, push you past your limits, it is meant to make you question yourself. If you never question your abilities, you will never have the motivation to push yourselves forward. Therefore, getting a bad grade on a test, is not a bad thing, it just means that you have to push yourself further and work harder.
Relationships are a challenge, every day. Whether they are with your significant other, your best friend from kindergarten, your new friends, or your family, they will take more effort than ever before. You will constantly be torn between studying for a test, going out with new friends, calling your mom, or having date night with your significant other, and often times, you are going to upset someone because you just aren’t able to dedicate as much time to them as they would like. Unfortunately, there will also be some people who you realize are not good for you, people who hold you back from being the person you want to be, and you are going to have to remove them from your life.
I want you to remember: It’s okay. Your mom will not hate you forever for not calling her that day that you said you would, your significant other is not going to break up with you because you had to cut your date short, and your friends will understand that you love them but just don’t have the time. It is so important, especially in college, to put yourself first and make time for the things that are going to make you happy. It is okay to let people who have been in your life go, it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person, it just means that you realized that they were not benefitting you and you place importance in yourself. Remember to be spontaneous, grades are important, but they are not what you are going to remember in 20 years when you tell your kids your college stories. You are going to remember the nights you went to Whataburger at 1 A.M. or the time you went on an impromptu road trip with your best friends. Remember to make memories with the people who are important to you, and do it every chance you get.
In college, a lot of challenges and obstacles are going to be thrown at you at the same time — it’s a constant balancing act. You’re going to have to learn to handle school, your relationships, and most importantly yourself, among many other things. And it is going to get overwhelming, extremely overwhelming, and often times, if you’re like me, you’re going to want to just cry or laugh uncontrollably at how out of control every thing is, and that is okay. You are going to lose yourself and feel lost a lot of the time. You’re going to go through the motions someday when you really just want to scream. It is not going to be easy, you are going to question yourself and maybe even your values and morals. You are going to change, and maybe when you go home for breaks your mom is going to notice the changes and point them out to you like it is a bad thing, and that may even hurt. But, it is going to be okay.
College poses a whole new set of responsibilities, situations and challenges. You have never before had to make so many decisions by yourself, you’ve never been more in charge of your own life, you have never before been able to create your own ideas and thoughts without the influence of your family. And because of this, you are going to change. You are going to become your own person, you may change who you want the world to see you as more than once, but it is going to happen at some point, so embrace it. College is a time in your life when you can be selfish, and free. You are free to become who you want to be, to have others perceive you as you want them too, you are free to become the best version of yourself, without your family telling you who to be or guiding you down a path, you are in charge of yourself, and that is a wonderful opportunity.
College is not all rosy and pretty, it is hard, it is a challenge every day, it is an experience that will change you forever. And truth is, it is supposed to, it is supposed to lead you to becoming yourself, to creating a career that you love and having the people you love beside you. So if I could sum up my advice from my experience so far it would be this: Embrace it, it is four of the hardest, and yet most memorable years of your life, don’t let it slip past because you’re too focused on fitting into a mold made by others, be yourself, make memories, work hard, and embrace it.
Here’s an excerpt from a book called “Mountains Beyond Mountains” that I read for my class, Perspectives on Infectious and Immunological Diseases, back in 2nd year. It’s about a man going to the farthest of places, in this case it’s the rural parts of Haiti, to cure TB. In this excerpt, his companion questions his efforts of walking for five hours to reach a TB patients’ homes.
“The objective is to inculcate in the doctors and nurses the spirit to dedicate themselves to the patients, and especially to having an outcome-oriented view of TB.” – Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder