College Is In Between Adulthood And Childhood

The In-Between Stage Of College Life Comes With The Uncertainty Of What Is To Come

How do you classify this point in life?

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There is something to be said about the weirdness of being in college and only being a year shy of entering the infamous 20s. In this weird time, in between being a child and an adult, a lot goes on. Most of it goes above my head. I thought I still had a few years until engagement announcements and baby photos began to enter my timeline. However, I was terribly mistaken. I have entered the time in one's life where they see people acting like children at parties sucking on beer bottles as though they are bottles of formula, or encounter those girls who are constantly seeking their "MRS degree" or being one who is like me trying to get a hold a life.

Have only been living on my "own" for four months, I have been totally oblivious to everything about me. I would look in the mirror every day and see the same person, however, when I look closely, things started to look different, though I really never dwelled on it. But suddenly, I looked in the mirror and saw something totally different. It was still me, but it was someone I didn't know. Over the course of my short time in college, I have turned into someone else, but not in a bad way. It was bound to happen, but at times, I still feel deep down inside that nothing has changed, but a lot has.

Throughout one's childhood, you see change, but don't realize it at the time. Honestly, childhood felt like forever, but I don't remember leaving it. Most of it was a blur. Yet, I have this sensation where I know I am not in it anymore, but I don't know what I entered. I feel as though I entered this weird place where people aren't sure who they are. It is a world filled with a constant identity crisis that I really didn't know I entered until recently. Maybe I am one of those few people who are too aware of their surroundings.

I see people differently now, not because of where I am or who I am, but I see others who are in this in-between place like me but are unaware of it or they are just lost. They act like infants whiny and restless, yet they speak like Samantha from "Sex and the City" discussing their recent conquest openly not giving two thoughts about how people perceive them. I am not one of them. Then there are those who believe they need to prove they are better than the beer guzzling college partiers.

These self-proclaimed intellects make themselves feel superior by questioning others' intellects and social behavior. They look down their noses at the typical juvenile college behavior, when in reality, they are more scared of life the partiers who stay out until the wee hours of the morning. They are scared because they don't know their worth without demeaning others. They fear they are minnows swimming in an ocean filled with sharks.

Then there is me. I don't fit into either one of those two groups. While I am not exactly sure of who I am, I don't think for a second I have forgotten about the person I was. I feel like I have begun to let myself be myself. I look at pictures of myself from a year ago and compare them to pictures from today, and I see a person who is growing and evolving. Someone who is speaking the truth, feeling more comfortable with change, and someone who is more comfortable with me. I still don't know the person I will end up being, but I am learning to deal with being a person living in this place in-between.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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