The ups and downs of college can really take a toll on a student’s emotions. You can’t have those “on top of the world” moments without those “this is hell” moments. It happens, especially in college, and it’s okay.
These are the times you mess up, forget things last minute, or don’t understand something. But knowing why you messed up, learning to be on top of it and asking “why?” is legitimately why we’re here. Finding success is not a straight shot to the finish line, instead it’s a roller coaster.
It starts very early, as early as getting accepted, and getting that letter in the mail that you and your family stare at for five minutes before opening. You’re accepted, and for that you’re overjoyed! What a day. Little do you know what you’re in for.
Coming in as a first-year is probably the most amazing thing that has ever happened to you so far in your life. All the butterflies in your stomach are screaming, “Please, let’s go home, this is so freaking scary,” but you move past the urge to throw up everywhere, and sit your butt in orientation.
Orientation is so important; it’s where I found my first best friend and also someone I still look up to. If you’re as lucky as I was, orientation will give you that first step. So, as of right now you’re kind of a mess, freaking out but also just so overwhelmed with excitement and curiosity.
Meeting new people left and right makes you feel more at home, but could these people actually mean as much as my friends back at home? Well, only time can tell.
I was so focused my first semester at Keene State College on making those friendships and I found a group of people I really care about. The first semester is usually a blur, I bet most students can agree. I would go to bed at six in the morning to wake up two hours later for my 8 a.m.. Your mom’s telling you to get involved and do the best you can, and yeah you’re trying… trying to just get by. But then, once the second semester hits, you’re like “oh crap I’m actually here for school” and “thank god my first semester classes were easy.” That’s when the happiness overload starts to dim a little, for good reasons.
Once the school work kicks in, you shift your emotions to the importance of doing well.
To me, it was a slap in the face because I finally realized I’m here for me, and no matter how much my mom nags me, that paper isn’t going to write itself. Getting a project that you worked hard on back with “A” on it is so rewarding. Understanding that you can do it is a big sigh of relief. But it wasn’t easy. Getting to the “A” is a piece of cake for some but difficult for most. You miss out on things that your friends are doing, you are tired all the time because you get no sleep, and you’re on edge Monday through Friday. Before your morning classes, you’re cranky and sitting there with one eye open. As the day goes on, you’re running around like a crazy person. Juggling school work, a job, club or even just your parents worst-timing texts is the definition of stress.
Your hair is falling out, makeup isn’t an option anymore and you’ve bitten all your nails into stubs; tell tale signs that finals are creeping up. Finals mean a review of everything you have learned throughout the semester, aka, learning four month’s work in a week. We all do it, but cramming and procrastination means 4 a.m. breakdowns and wanting to quit school. But, as strong students, we wipe those tears and move on. Hopefully, learning from the past so, at some point, you won’t be in that position.
Finals are over, thank god, but you have to move out now. You know what that means; more tears.
Leaving for the summer is always a miracle in itself but it is really saddening. Leaving the place and the people who have such an impact on your life definitely pulls at your emotions.
That dorm room, apartment or house that you created so many memories in was home to your closest friends and was filled with their never ending laughter. But now it’s empty, and silent. It’s so upsetting, but if there’s one thing that you learn from college, it’s that change is necessary and it will happen. So, don’t get too worried because something good will come out of it.
After blinking twice the four years have flown by. You’re getting your cap, gown, year book and life as a whole together. Your senior year is the final loop in the roller coaster. As the year comes to a wrap, you reflect on your college experience.
Graduation day is here and you’re worried, proud, shocked feeling like this is the last of many; last time you’ll see some of your friends, last time you’ll walk across Appian Way, last time you’ll have that much fun. But the thing is, that’s not true. College is not the best time of your life, and I think seniors need to realize that.
Yes, the transition into the real world will be a little bumpy at the beginning, but it can be just as remarkable. For the past four years, you have worked toward this moment; you’re ready. Be confident. It’s your job to step off the ride, stop worrying and start inspiring.
Kiana Wright can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org