While being a college student in today's world, there is so much we are expected to live up to. Having a 4.0, having your life planned out, being active in your school, being active in general and holding a part-time or even full-time job are just some of the things we are held accountable for. We're expected to finish mountains of homework after working until two in the morning. We're expected to take impossible exams and do well on them, while also planning the next 5K fundraiser for our organization. We're expected to have our life planned out, though we've barely even begun to live. We're expected to do all of this with a smile because "at least we have the opportunity to attend college".
Do not get me wrong, I am truly thankful to have the chance to further my education. I realize that not everyone is given this opportunity. But even though we have this chance, it is okay to not be okay, sometimes. You don't have to be put together all of the time.
So you made a bad grade on the test you spent hours studying for, or you locked yourself out of your house and your car. You woke up at 8:30 and missed your 8 a.m., you almost got hit by a car even though you were walking the cross walk (though this actually wouldn't be that bad because hello, free tuition), or you forgot to do the homework and your professor wouldn’t take it late. You had a fight with your best friend, roommate or boyfriend. Your family feels neglected because you didn’t call last week. You were late to your job, you didn’t go work out at all last week, or you slept that extra hour instead of staying up to study. It's okay.
The weight of the world might feel like it’s hanging on your shoulders, but it is okay. Take a break. Do something that truly makes you happy. One bad quiz grade is not going to keep you from that "A". Life happens. You are human. It is impossible to have it together every single second of the day. College can be so much fun when you realize that there is no need for you to be perfect.
The first step is admitting that you are not okay. Whenever someone asks how you are, tell them the truth. Now if it is the employee at Chick-Fil-A asking how you’re doing, I don’t suggest having a heart to heart with them. Remember they’re paid to say “my pleasure,” but if your best friend asks how you’re doing, let them in. Tell them whats bothering you, what you’re thinking or what’s wrong. Do not say that “you’re fine," because odds are you know that you aren’t and your bestie knows it too. Sometimes you need a shoulder to cry on and that’s okay. It doesn’t make you weak, less or a person or in capable of being successful. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. Being able to open up about something is one of the strongest things you can do. Getting "in your feels" isn’t easy.
The second step is getting yourself back up. It is totally okay to not be okay, as long as it’s not forever. Get in your feels, have a heart-to-heart with someone, take a few days to relax and then get back to business. Get back to studying and aiming for that 4.0. Call home and see how your family is doing. Make up with your best friend, even if they were the one at fault. Go to the gym and stay for ten extra minutes. Do your homework a week early. Put yourself back together and count your blessings.
Nothing worth having comes easy. When you finally walk across that stage to get your degree that you truly worked for throughout the past four years, you’ll realize that every bad grade, every fight, every long night, every tear, and every moment of stress that you overcame to get to this point was worth it.
And remember it’s okay to not be okay, sometimes.