When I was in high school, I felt like I was killing it! I was acing every test, hanging out with friends, enjoying the sport that I loved… I felt like I was ruling each and every day. I was known for being smart and having good grades, as well as being in just about every activity you could imagine, so it was no surprise that I thought college was going to be easy for me. Well, I was dead wrong.
When I entered college, it was like a culture shock. I was accustomed to strict schedules and having to fit in free time with friends. I knew my schedule without having to even reference a calendar. Now, I find myself frantically flipping through a syllabus trying to figure out when an assignment is due. Not only that, but I became so accustomed to constantly being on the move, and now I have free time that I do not know what to do with.
Also, one of the things that I loved most about high school was participating in a competitive activity where I was challenged and excited to go to practice every day. When I went to college, it was a totally different experience. The activity that I loved so much felt like a drag. I dreaded going to practices. We did not compete, so I was bored. I was not being challenged, so I questioned the point of even going. The petty high school drama… it continued into college; grown women acting like children. It was driving me up the wall. I couldn’t deal with it anymore. Thankfully, I was able to find a group that restored my love in that activity.
The final thing that me feel like I went from a “top-class” student to a “low baller” was the academics and drop in my grades and self-esteem. I was accustomed to doing my homework the class before and not having any problems. I remember not studying because I never had to, but when I came to college, I hit a wall. Readings had to be done before even discussing it in classes. Assignments were lengthy and detail-oriented. Professors critiqued you from every corner; left, right, up, and down. It caused me to become anxious. I lost my self-esteem. I felt like I wasn’t doing well enough. I felt like I was falling.
However, at the end of the day, it all gets better. You learn to adjust to the open schedules. You adjust to the hectic schedules. You learn to become organized and learn how to adapt. In college, you can make your own decisions. You learn that you are not limited to the activities within your school. You have the opportunity to take on the world around you. You have the opportunity to explore. You can say “no more” to anything you want. If it is bringing you down, you can let it go, move on, and find something new to love. And do not forget, that grades are not everything. Learning something new is what is important. If you keep pushing, you will find success and happiness. Just don’t stop. Keep your chin up, and you can survive college.