In high school, you were the straight A student. The one who never missed a homework assignment, who always studied days in advance for an exam, who never felt completely confused just by seeing the formulas and equations written on the board, and who never dreaded learning something new.

It's hard not to compare yourself, your grades, and your study habits to the person you were and achievements that you had in high school.

Just because you are struggling in college right now does not, by any means, mean that you are stupid. You are far from it.

You are smart. You still are and you always have been.

But, at college, being smart is only half the battle. It's important to remember that. You can't just get by with your wit and intelligence. It takes more than your ability to memorize things at the drop of a hat or to instantly understand the material to succeed in college. You cannot think that just because you are struggling now that you are any less intelligent than you were in high school. You cannot compare the person you are today to the person that you were then because you have experienced different things, grown as a person, gained independence, and learned so much about so many new subjects.

College isn't like high school - it isn't a piece of cake nor is it meant to be. It's supposed to hard. Even though we wish every class would be as easy as Psychology 101 or Theater 101 but it just isn't like that. College is meant to push you to your limits, to make you grow intellectually, and to make you learn things that you never thought you'd learn but may just ignite an unknown passion. Remember, not everyone can handle what you're doing now nor would they like to, so hold your head high because you're doing something amazing, something worth being proud of years from now. But, it's important to also remember these things:

Every day you get up and go to class, you are one step closer to succeeding.

Going to class, doing your homework, and studying counts as trying your best. It will pay off eventually. I promise.

Most importantly, believe in yourself. If you don't believe in your abilities then how can you ever expect anyone else to believe in you?

Everyone understands that college is hard. No one is expecting you to be perfect, to be that straight A student with the perfect 4.0 GPA, or to be the one who still breezes through anything and everything that is thrown their way. As long as you are trying, there is nothing more that anyone can ask of you. College isn't like high school where you are baby stepped through everything and given countless bonus opportunities. College is one step closer to the real world where nothing is simply given to you just by participating. If you want to succeed, you have to try every day and, most importantly, always believe in yourself. Even if that means that some days you feel like you're are struggling emotionally, academically, or financially (or a combination or all three) because eventually, each and every struggle will pay off and you can look back and see how much stronger you are because of everything you went through in along the way.

I know it seems hard now but, please, keeping pushing through. You'll be proud of yourself because nothing tastes sweeter than success.