My first year of college has come and gone, and to say that I am relieved is an understatement. I love the whole college experience and I love my school for sure, but sometimes the assignments just pile up with stress and it gets almost unbearable.

I've never been one to struggle in school, but I met my match with statistics and linguistics this year. Not only was the content hard, but a lot of other things had come up in my personal life that caused me to focus on things other than school.

Therefore, I'm not ashamed to admit that I've struggled a bit, but I'm sure that there are more students besides me who can relate. This article is an attempt at reassurance for not only my readers but for myself as well. There are a number of things that I can think of that are far more important than the 4.0 GPA that we all crave.

Mental health should come before anything else. Please tell me why in the world I would drive myself to the brink of insanity all for an A in a class that doesn't have anything to do with my major. That's right, I'm not going to. It's a ridiculous expectation that I will not meet.

I will always put my family before my most important class, and that's OK. I'd choose my family over a barely passing grade any day of the week.

Even my friends will come first. I am a very friend-oriented individual, and I would drop everything in a heartbeat if they really needed me, even if it means my attendance/participation grade will be the lowest it can possibly go.

Last, but certainly not least, my faith will go before my grades any day. Nothing will ever come before my God, not even the 4.0 GPA that I used to desire.

I'm tired of feeling like I need to put my academics before, well, life. Life happens and sometimes things come up - things that are much more important for us to tend to first.

When I look back in 10 years, I'm not going to remember the linguistics test I did so horribly on or the attendance grade I got in statistics for the few classes I had missed.

I'll remember the night that I didn't study because I FaceTimed my sister after her nearly fatal car accident. I'll remember the long road trip to Georgia with my best friend's family, where I was able to see him after four (almost five) months of very little contact. I'll remember the relief I felt after seeing my sister's face and hearing her tell me she was OK. I'll remember the happiness radiating across my best friend's face after seeing me in the stands at his basic training graduation.

Sometimes, it's the little things that mean the most.

Schoolwork shouldn't be the last thing that ever comes to your mind, but for me, there are some things that should and always will rank higher than my academics.