How to survive college

There Is A Correct Way To Play This Game Called College

Prioritize yourself before schoolwork!

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Countless times in my college career, there have been moments when I questioned my reason for being here. Is it even worth it? Am I wasting four years of my life here? Is it worth the amount of debt I will be in when I graduate? I often ask myself with the purpose of self-discovery. I have questioned college and the whole education system. Why must I endure two to three years of studying and stressing for classes on subjects that I do not care for before I can finally study what excites me? For all the struggles and hardships college has put me through, I have realized there are a few ways to play this game of college.

Because you are required to take several general education classes, the first way to play the game would be to decide that you are going to strive for good grades in all of your classes. This means you would have to endure countless hours of studying and pulling all-nighters if the situation calls for it. This includes subjects that your major does not require or you are simply not interested in. Sure, you might learn something in one of those classes, but is it worth it when a large amount of money is being spent to take that class? If one were to choose this route, you would be placing high amounts of pressure and stress on yourself to get that good grade. Some people actually inflict this extreme strain upon their mental and physical health by choosing this route. However, I understand your situation might be different and you have no other choice, but to go down this route because scholarships demand a certain GPA.

If you are like me and came to the conclusion that the first method is simply not for you, there is another way to play the game. It is very simple yet requires the most courage. It would be to simply drop out. This route is drastic, and you will probably receive massive scrutiny from your family doing this. There must be another way to play this game.

The third and final way to play this game of college — the way I choose to play — goes as follows: giving just enough attention to certain classes and once I am in a class that excites me, then I'll invest more of myself and time into it. This is critical though. Figure out which classes you are able to give less attention to yet still maintain a solid grade in. In doing so, now you will have extra time on your hands. Use it to find yourself, attend to your different interests, read a book, go to the gym, make friends —whatever!

It pains me to see friends freaking out over exams, being under high amounts of stress, pulling all-nighters at the library knowing that it ultimately affects their health and well being. Being aware that it is common for college students to suffer from depression and anxiety, I can't help but relate it to how most people play the game. Prioritizing schoolwork over yourself does not grant you the time to address these issues related to mental health. Choosing when to give less attention to some classes might be hard for some, but it will benefit you more than you will know. It is about picking and choosing. You decide when it is time to jump back in and focus. The purpose is to put yourself first before school work because, at the end of the day, you matter more than the exam. I hope you are able to give it a try as well. I have done this most of my college career and my GPA is still high and I feel great.

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To The Defeated Nursing Major, You'll Rise

You'll rise because every single day that you slip on your navy blue scrubs and fling your pretty little stethoscope around your neck, the little girl that you once were with the dream of saving lives someday will be silently nudging you to keep going.

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You will have weeks when you are defeated. Some mornings you won't be able to get out of bed and some days you won't be able to stop crying enough to go to class. You'll feel like nobody understands the stress that you are under, and you have absolutely nobody to talk to because they either don't get it or are dealing with their own meltdowns. There will be weeks that you want to change your major and give up on the whole thing. But, you'll rise.
You will miss football games, concerts, and nights out with the girls. There will be stretches of two or more weeks you'll go without seeing your mom, and months where you have to cancel on your best friend 4+ times because you have too much studying to do. There will be times where no amount of "I'm sorry" can make it up to your little brother when you miss his big football game or your grandparents when you haven't seen them in months. But, you'll rise.

You will have patients who tell you how little they respect nurses and that you won't be able to please no matter how hard you try. You will have professors who seem like their goal is to break you, especially on your bad days. You will encounter doctors who make you feel like the most insignificant person on the planet. You will leave class some days, put your head against your steering wheel and cry until it seems like there's nothing left to cry out. But, you'll rise.

You will fail tests that you studied so hard for, and you will wing some tests because you worked too late the night before. You will watch some of the smartest people you've ever known fail out because they simply aren't good test-takers. You will watch helplessly as your best friend falls apart because of a bad test grade and know that there is absolutely nothing you can do for her. There will be weeks that you just can't crack a smile no matter how hard you try. But, you'll rise.

You'll rise because you have to — because you've spent entirely too much money and effort to give up that easily. You'll rise because you don't want to let your family down. You'll rise because you're too far in to stop now. You'll rise because the only other option is failing, and we all know that nurses do not give up.

You'll rise because you remember how badly you wanted this, just three years ago as you were graduating high school, with your whole world ahead of you. You'll rise because you know there are people that would do anything to be in your position.

You'll rise because you'll have one patient during your darkest week that'll change everything — that'll hug you and remind you exactly why you're doing this, why this is the only thing you can picture yourself doing for the rest of your life.

You'll rise because every single day that you slip on your navy blue scrubs and fling your pretty little stethoscope around your neck, the little girl that you once were with the dream of saving lives someday will be silently nudging you to keep going.

You'll rise because you have compassion, you are selfless, and you are strong. You'll rise because even during the darkest weeks, you have the constant reminder that you will be changing the world someday.

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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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