College is hard. No doubt about it. You go from super chill, laid back times to eight tests, four papers, and a group project due in one week. That is no joke!
College is said to be the "best time of you life." If you're anything like me, that phrase is kind of disappointing when college doesn't exactly get off to the start you'd hoped for.
Going through sorority recruitment was very hard for me. That was the best decision I ever made; I love my sisters more than life, but nonetheless it was hard. If you've never been through Panhellenic Recruitment before, it's something that no one can really prepare you for. The week is hard, and you have to make tough decisions (and sometimes tough ones are made for you), but it ends with the most amazing sisterhood where you fit perfectly. However, this is a different story for a different article.
I'm not very outgoing or social, which made recruitment hard for me. I met some amazing friends, but I was having a hard time fitting in. All of my friends went to a school in another state; I didn't know my roommate coming in, and I was terrified. I had picked up a large major, and I wasn't ready to move away from home.
After recruitment week ended, I was crying all the time. I went home every weekend (which I do without shame still.) I just didn't think that this whole out of state thing was for me. I was ready to throw in the towel and move to another school where all my friends were. I was so distraught that I just cried and cried over the phone with my mom, my sister, to my roommate, and just to my pillow late at night.
However, things started to get better when classes started. I'm taking a full class load, and I still don't know how that's going to pan out this semester, but I'm working hard trying to keep everything in balance. I was in class 4-5 hours 3 days a week and 1 hour 2 days a week. It was working out perfectly. I'm enjoying all my classes, and things are starting to get better.
I was getting settled into a routine, and maybe I was staying up too late doing math homework, but that was fine too. I wasn't really concerned with that part. I was making good grades on my assignments, and I was having fun studying and working hard. Well, that was until I realized that I have four major tests, four days in a row. My first FOUR college tests four days IN A ROW?!
Well, my friends... welcome to college. Things tend to sneak up on you like that. Sure, I knew that my tests were going to be on those days! I even had it written down in my planner, but that didn't prepare me for the shock I had when I realized that they were all in the same week and that same week was only TWO WEEKS AWAY!!!
SO since then, I've been studying my butt off getting ready for these tests. I've been stressing and stressing, but I've had to slow down and realize that I am well-prepared for these tests. I've been working hard, and as long as I continue to work hard and put in the effort, I shouldn't worry too much about the final outcome. Hard work does pay off in the long run.
However, I'm not just here to talk about the physical hardship of college, because no doubt- it's hard getting up for those 8 ams and preparing for those tests until two in the morning. I'm also here to say that college is hard psychologically.
Moving away from everything you've ever known, sometimes including your high school friends, is hard! I know that one of my absolute best friends is my mom, and it's so hard being away from her everyday. We talk on the phone all the time which makes me feel like she's here with me. Plus moving away from my sister was extremely hard.
Not to mention the stress of the extra-hard course load that you may be taking. As a pre-medicine student, juggling school (while maintaining almost perfect grades), sorority life (while staying as plugged in and present as possible), and everything else can become exceedingly overwhelming very quickly.
Sometimes I break down and cry because I'm so lost about what to do. Which is why it is so important to have an amazing support system. I not only have my parents and siblings who are cheering me on from home; I have my roommate-Sara- who is the world's best roommate, I will fight you on that, and I have EVERY ONE of my sorority sisters (whom I love with my whole entire heart.) Support is crucial to this crazy thing we call college- I'm just getting started, and I have quickly learned this to be true.
I'm here to say that it's okay to be down. It's okay to be confused. It's okay to cry because you don't know where to turn. Most importantly, it's okay to reach out for help when you need it. It's okay to ask your big (if you're in Greek Life) to help you with your class. It's okay to go get student counseling if you need it! It's okay to call your Mom and tell her how much you miss her. It's okay to GO HOME!
People will tell you that it's not okay to go see your family because you won't want to come back, but in my experience, I'd be much worse off if I didn't go home. I am a home body to the utmost degree, and I love being at home.
College is hard. There's no way around that. If it were easy, everyone would graduate with a phD. However; struggles make you who you are, and it's okay to recognize the fact that in the moment it's hard (as long as you keep pushing.) The truth is, you will be stressed; you will cry; you will want to scream your head off at your math class, but in the end it will all be worth it.
It doesn't matter if you graduate in three and a half years, six years, or TEN years! When you walk across that stage and accept your degree, every bit of pain and suffering will be worth it.
So here's to holding on through the struggle, and persevering through the pain. Here's to four years of college... then on to the next days.