Diary Entry 1: Life Throws Obstacles At You, Learn To Go Around Them

Diary Entry 1: Life Throws Obstacles At You, Learn To Go Around Them

Even though I struggled so much in the past week, I still managed to make it through.

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So, I decided to do a monthly journal/diary entry. I have always struggled with talking about my feelings and personal problems, so I thought it would help me let things out by putting it all on paper. So here it goes.

I have had an interesting past week. To start, I had 3 exams very close together. Although they were all different difficulties, they were still in 3 days. This gave me a lot of stress trying to study for three very different subjects. Along with studying all of that, I had to interview someone for a story that would air at my school's weekly TV broadcast. But that wasn't even the worst part. My body decided that that was the best time to get me sick.

When I get sick, it usually is so much worse than when someone else gets sick. I would feel like I was going to pass out one second and after I thought I was feeling better, I would wake up the next morning back to the way I was the previous day. This made it difficult to go to classes and work those few days. I had to work a closing shift one night and I thought I was perfectly fine to go in: I was very wrong about that. At the start of the shift, I was okay. But that decided to be one of the busiest nights I've had to work there so my sickness came back at full force. I finally decided to make sure I rest for the next couple nights and eventually it did go away.

Although I am having a great time being able to live on my own at school, I still miss home. I have some close friends who still live at home and commute. Because of this, I have been thinking about if I had decided to commute to a school by home then maybe I could still be with them. My boyfriend is the main person I miss. We just recently celebrated our 1 year, but we were not able to be together on the actual day. That was very difficult for me because I have gotten so used to being with him all day every day during the summer, now being 2 hours away from him is a struggle, but we still manage to make it work and are still as strong as ever.

Even after all this happening this past week, I still manage to stay positive about it all. Having a positive outlook on life no matter what is being thrown at you is the best way to go through life and not struggle with whatever surprises happen to you.

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Just Because You're Struggling in College, Doesn't Mean You're Stupid

A reminder we all need sometimes.
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I have a pet peeve. It's something that seems small, but it has the potential to do an untold amount of damage. It goes something like this:

Freshman year, I took general chemistry.

Having gone to a grossly underfunded high school that only offered one chemistry class (which was mostly aimed to satisfy the state requirements for high school graduation, and not to foster budding young chemists), I fell behind almost immediately.

I was working on our first homework assignment (unit conversions, to my dismay), and I was hopelessly confused, so I asked one of my classmates for help. I figured what I needed help on was pretty minor, so asking for a classmate's help would be no problem. I was wrong.

When I asked him to explain the homework to me, he shrugged and said, "It's not like it's hard." And that tiny phrase made me want to give up completely. I know that he wasn't trying to make me feel bad, but he inadvertently made me feel completely stupid.

What's worse, is that his making me feel that way prevented me from asking for help on future assignments, because I didn't want other students, or the professor, to think that I was as stupid as I felt. In a class that was largely foreign to me, I felt completely alone.

I overhear students doing this same thing across campus all the time, and I think it's because many of us have no idea what damage this can do to our fellow students, because I don't think any of us ever really mean to put each other down. College is hard, and in order to survive, we need to empower our friends and classmates. And doing so actually really simple.

I think the solution to the problem starts with how we look at ourselves. The fact of the matter is that if you're in college, you're not stupid.

You're not. You got this far.

And honestly, there aren't a whole lot of things out there in life that are more demanding than college. You can handle this.

After reminding ourselves (every single day if we have to) that we are not stupid, we need to project that idea out on everyone around us. Don't let your friends call themselves stupid. It doesn't matter if they're failing calculus, they aren't stupid. If you or your friends are struggling with staying on top of things, it's okay to ask for help.

Needing a tutor or a counselor doesn't make you stupid, it means you're smart enough to know when you need help.

If you're good at something, and the person next to you is really struggling with that thing, don't patronize them by saying how easy it is, because it might only come easily to you.

And that's OK, but it's important to remember how what you say can make other people feel, even if putting someone down was never your intention. You don't have to offer to help anyone if you don't want to, but you should always encourage your classmates to ask for help, and especially not to give up.

When so many of us are struggling to keep it together in college, we all need to be aware of the impact we make on everyone around us.

Cover Image Credit: thinkprogress.org

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Academics and Creativity Conflicts

Academics is definitely something important for students, but it seems that creativity is pushed aside too often.

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As students, we are heavily focused on academics. Some of us may also be heavily focused on athletics. Anything that helps or is integrated into our academic careers has a way of controlling how we live our daily life. We go to class, we study and do homework, we attend activities/work, and then we most likely have little time to relax.

One thing that seems to lack in the academic world is creativity. Many students may say "Well, I'm not creative." Why have students subjected themselves to being uncreative individuals? How does someone define "creativity" as the verbatim definition across the world? Creativity can be used widely if we are aware of how it can be done.

  1. In the classroom, students can find creative ways to approach a debate, a different way of understanding a topic, changing the argument and allowing different perspectives and voices to be heard, and so much more.
  2. Students can find different ways of changing the issues our communities may face such as homelessness, segregated communities, etc.
  3. Organizations can be created to fill in the gaps our communities may have (including in a university).
  4. Students can remain to do creative activities such as crafts, writing, art, etc. This can be done within different organizations or in the comfort of the student's home.
  5. There are different platforms that encourage creativity like photoshop, video editing software, websites like Wattpad to create and share your own stories, and more.

We cannot let academics take over every moment of our lives. It can easily result in a point where we have no motivation to do anything at all because we are in a constant routine that can drain us. We are more than school, although it is still very important. If we shall succeed, we have to embrace the things we love to do and not forget about who we are.

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