letter to college students

A Letter To Discouraged College Students

A letter to every college student out there with final exams in two weeks


To my dear, suffering college friend,

Good afternoon! You're probably procrastinating your last few projects and your study session while you're reading this post or you might be lying in your bed ready to go to sleep. You're also probably worried that you're going to fail the final exams that are within a month from today. You're scared, tired, and just done with all this college stuff and wish winter break would just roll around so you could enjoy your time without deadlines and exams knocking on your door. You're sure that the final exam would bring your grades down to a failing grade and make you have to retake the course all over again or even worse, being kicked out of college and landing in the middle of nowhere with no degree and no job.

Unfortunately, there's nothing I could do to help you other than some words of encouragement and a pat on the back that would serve no purpose other than spreading germs everywhere; the is the cruel side of college, exams. However, there is something you could do to reduce the stress you have on yourself. By now you're down in the dumps and super down on yourself, probably thinking that you'll achieve nothing other than failing and the self-confidence in you is completely non-existent. Unfortunately, there is no time for you to be upset over yourself because exams are rolling over and if you couldn't pick yourself up right now you're going to get run over again and get down on yourself over and over again, creating an endless cycle of minimal self-worth.

Start by just taking a deep breath right now and take a few more afterward. Not only can it help clear your mind but you could also intake more oxygen which is good stuff. Now get yourself in the most comfortable before you even start to think or do anything. Studies have shown that a relaxed setting could help the mind relax and work efficiently. Drink some water or eating something if you need to, make yourself at home and forget everything else. Now that we're nice and comfortable we could start to think and plan. So many people just jump straight into working without knowing what steps to take and where to start causing more confusion, less confidence, and overall just wasting valuable time. We start out with what you need to improve on specifically. If you don't know where to start or what to improve on, look at past tests, quizzes, homework problems, exams, etc. to see where you messed up on. If you don't understand the class material email the TA's or professor or go into office hours for explanation and help. Now that we've located where your problem is we start planning: when are you able to study, what setting is best for you to study in, are you more of a group study person or solo study person. All these are questions you should ask yourself and once you've answered those questions start by doing practice problems. Practice is the key here, and the whole point of practice is to learn and become experienced, so don't be afraid to ask others for help or googling some ideas. Textbooks and notes help a lot here. One of the most important factors here is to not overload yourself. Do not go into studying spree and sleep for only 3 hours a day. The most important things to keep in mind is that a healthy lifestyle means a better study mindset, an energetic person with sufficient hours to sleep and eat can be ten times more productive than a tired person. Put down the phone and put your mind to studying; ignore any unnecessary distractions because once your attention is directed elsewhere, it takes about 15 minutes for your mind to readjust to a learning setting. Remember that you will always have people to talk to if you need help, academically or emotionally or spiritually.

When you dedicate your mind to studying you'll soon learn that you don't have time to be down on yourself and actually doing something productive. It's time to end this endless cycle of being down on yourself by not doing anything and then come back to being down on yourself for not doing anything. Think, plan, and do, don't hesitate or direct your attention to things that only hinder what needs to be done. Good luck and hopefully you'll come through.

Best wishes,

Johnny Chiu

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I Asked My Boyfriend What To Write About And Here Are The 8 Things He Came Up With

We clearly have different article-related interests.


As a writer, I occasionally experience the dreaded phase of writer's block. I have certain ways and methods of finding inspiration, though for this piece I thought I'd do something a little different. I asked my boyfriend what I should write about and I quickly found out that he and I do not have the same article-related interests.

As I tried to search through his scattered thoughts and make an article about one of them, I decided it may just be easier to write them all here.

1. Golf

He said that he'd be interested in an article about golf. While I can see how many would find interest in a golf-related article, I just don't really understand the game enough to even begin to formulate a thought or an opinion. In fact, up until about a year ago, I thought that there was only one hole on a golf course that was on the complete opposite side of the tee. I thought that hole-in-ones were absolutely insane as the ball had to travel miles over forests and ponds and hills. I thought an 18 hole course just meant that it took about 18 tries to get to the hole.

2. Fishing

OK, another topic that I could see how some would be interested in, but, again, not something I could personally expand on. I've been fishing many times in my life, but nothing too fancy. I can name a couple of specific fish, though I only know the majority of them through my boyfriend's teachings. I have also developed a large fear of bodies of water, so fishing is often a scary experience for me, but I have learned to enjoy it — as long as the fishies go back into the water safe and sound.

3. Living On A Budget

I think he may have just said this because, as an unemployed college student, I am currently living on a tight budget... which I suck at. Maybe he's just calling me out by saying this. Maybe he wants me to write an article about this so I would be forced to do research on how to adequately live on a budget. Whatever.

4. Cars

I don't know anything about cars. I know which ones are prettiest, most luxurious, shiniest. But I DO NOT know anything about what is going on under the hood of a car. That's my boyfriend's department. He knows pretty much everything there is to know about cars and he's actually taught me a decent amount. You know, the basics, like the fact that cars need an oil change more than once a year.

5. Responsibilities Of Living Without Parents

This is pretty relevant to our lives, as we both live without our parents, 1,600 miles away. It does come with quite a bit of responsibilities - I could actually write an article about this one. Maybe in the future, I could write an article explaining what it takes to live on your own, especially within the first year of moving away from home... interesting. Good idea, boyfriend.

6. Clash Of Clans

All of a sudden, my boyfriend has an obsession with this game that was really popular in, I don't know, 2012? He plays the game the majority of his free time. He talks about it all the time, he watches Youtube videos about it, and he tried very hard to get me to play it. Once again, I do not share this interest with him. Clash Of Clans? Not my thing.

7. (Turf) Grass

I feel like I need to expand on my boyfriend's interest in this: he works with ground maintenance at a golf course. He also has a little extra love for all things pesticide, fungicide, insecticide, grass, and more grass. He talks about grass-related things a lot of the time and watches a lot of grass-related videos. Don't get me wrong, I'm really glad that he loves what he does and has a lot of interest in it all... grass and all things related just aren't my things.

8. "The Bachelorette"

This is a lie. He has absolutely no interest in this; I've tried to explain the show and it's complexities to him multiple times, which was basically like speaking to a brick wall. He just does not care, which is very understandable.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.


1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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