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.