It’s LJ, again!!! Despite my depressing title – I promise this post will be worth the read, so pull through with me!
Here we go!
A couple of weeks ago I was helping my cousin out in his college search and I started digging through the piles of brochures and recruitment letters that I received from different universities my senior year of high school. While I was doing so, I noticed something super interesting that really made me laugh. On all of these recruitment brochures, there were photos of these uber-attractive students LAUGHING and SMILING candidly, like they didn’t have a care in the world. They were so happy- laying on lush green fields soaking up the sun on beach towels with books by their side, chatting with their friends and studying leisurely.
Now, don’t let this scare you, but I’m gonna’ be real with you right now and let you know that is total BS. Coming into college I was super excited because I thought that all of my days were going to be as picturesque and gleeful as the images in these brochures – and let me tell you that is not the case. I tell you this because I think it’s important to be realistic about these things and understand that college isn’t going to be this utopia where everything falls into place. That’s how it’s sold, and that’s so dangerous because if we continue to foster this idea that everyone in college loves college all of the time, we will inevitably feel lonely and inadequate when life doesn’t go our way. This is because we think that all of our peers are smooth sailing through their first semester – when in reality other people are having just as hard of a time as you are.
I decided to write about this topic because these past two months since I’ve started college have been particularly difficult for me. I’ve been dealing with some stuff at home and haven’t been maintaining a good balance within my life socially, academically, or health-wise (ignore my poor syntax… I haven’t slept in a while). I really began to question whether or not college was for me because it seemed to come so easily to everyone else – meanwhile I would spend all of my time in the library studying and still only manage to scrape up a B- on my midterm. Furthermore, I would see all of my classmates having the times of their lives on instagram and snapchat, etc. and I began to believe that I was the only one having a lousy experience.
After a good amount of crying and isolating myself from the world because life got hard ** ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ **, I decided that I needed to make a change. I realized that the stuff I see on insta and snapchat are only small snippets of other people’s lives that make it seem like everyone is smooth sailing. I stopped victimizing myself and reclaimed agency over my situation. I started going to tutoring and returning phone calls. I started taking more naps and making sure I ate during mealtimes. I READ FOR PLEASURE for the first time in months (unheard of in college). Ultimately, I realized that college is what you make of it.
My point is this:
Sure, college is hard. Life doesn’t stop just because you’re at a new school with new people. There is always going to be some type of obstacle that you have to face (problems at home, drama with friends, etc.) that is going to distract you from your primary objective (school, getting a degree, surviving), but it’s comforting to know that you’re not alone. Everyone is having a hard time, even if it doesn’t seem like it. And that’s okay. It’s okay to have a hard time. It’s okay to break down and cry for a bit – but it’s important to remember to pick yourself up after those crying sessions and get back to business. As first generation students, all of the odds are stacked against us. We need to keep our goals in mind and allow them to motivate us when times get tough.
It’s easier said than done, and I know that… But that’s my spiel for this week! 🙂
I hope it provides some valuable insight into the college experience for y’all.
Talk to you soon!!! <333