I've Got Incomplete Classes, Yes, But My Mental Health Still Comes First

I've Got Incomplete Classes, Yes, But My Mental Health Still Comes First

Taking more time to finish your coursework does not make you a failure.

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For most people, summer is a time without coursework, tests and classes. Not for me. At least, not this year. I have two incomplete classes to finish in addition to my summer class. And you know what? That's OK.

Before this past year, I had never taken an incomplete in a class. I was always the "perfect student," getting my work done *mostly* on time, making good marks and staying up until the wee hours of the morning to study or finish a project. I was good at school. It was my "job," and I did it well.

At least, until last semester. This past spring, I did something a bit… unusual. I put my college success behind my mental health.

If you really think about it, staying up until 3 a.m. to study for an exam, working 5 hours straight per day on coursework, not sleeping, not eating properly, stressing out all the time… it's not healthy. It gets the job done, so to speak, but at the expense of our well-being, whether we realize it or not.

For years, I didn't realize it. I didn't even consider how unhealthy and detrimental these habits could be. But after getting my mental and physical health back on track during a gap year between my freshman and sophomore year (yes, I am supposed to be a junior, but I am a year behind, and that's OK too…), I stopped thinking all of the crazy measures we go to for an "A" would fit neatly into my life.

There is an unspoken competition on college campuses: Who can get the least amount of sleep? Who is the busiest? Who was up the latest working? Who is taking the most credits?

It is unhealthy. It puts what really matters — mental health — aside.

The truth is, your grades in college don't matter. No, really.

They don't matter nearly as much as your mental well-being.

They don't matter nearly as much as taking care of yourself appropriately.

Your grades in college mean nothing if you are not able to function because of stress, anxiety or exhaustion.

I may have had to take incompletes, but if I hadn't, I wouldn't be nearly as stable in my mental health as I am now.

I still have depression spells. I still have anxiety and feel overwhelmed. But I don't work through the night on studying or projects like I used to. I sleep. I eat food. I get fresh air. I drink water (because you cannot live off coffee, as much as I tried…and sometimes still try to).

I may have incompletes, but that doesn't make me a failure.

I may have incompletes, and that is totally, completely, 100 percent OK. Because I am putting me first. For once.

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7 Truths About Being A Science Major

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Whether your major is Human Bio, Chemistry, Neuroscience or any other that deals with a lot of numbers, theories, experiments and impossibly memorizing facts, you know the pressures of pursuing a career in this field. So without further ado, here are seven truths about being a science major:

1. There is no “syllabus week.”

Coming back to college in the fall is one of the best times of the year. Welcome week has become most students' favorite on-campus holiday. But then you have syllabus week: another widely celebrated week of no responsibilities… Unless you’re a science major that is. While your other friends get to enjoy this week of getting to know their professors and class expectations, you get to learn about IUPAC nomenclature of alkanes on the first day of organic chem.

2. Your heart breaks every time you have to buy a new textbook.

Somehow every professor seems to have their own “special edition” textbook for class… And somehow it’s always a couple hundred bucks… And somehow, it's ALWAYS required.

3. Hearing "attendance is not mandatory," but knowing attendance is VERY mandatory.

Your professor will tell you that they don’t take attendance. Your professor will put all lecture slides online. Your professor will even record their lectures and make those available as well. Yet if you still don’t go to class, you’ll fail for sure. Coming into lecture after missing just one day feels like everyone has learned an entire new language.

4. You’re never the smartest person in your class anymore.

No matter what subject, what class or what concentration, there will always be someone who is just that much better at it than you.

5. You get totally geeked out when you learn an awesome new fact.

Today in genetics you learned about mosaicism. The fact that somebody can have a disease in part of their total body cells but normal throughout all others gets you so hype. Even though you know that your family, friends and neighbors don’t actually care about your science facts, you HAVE to tell them all anyways.

6. There is never enough time in a day.

You are always stuck choosing between studying, eating, sleeping and having fun. If you're lucky, you'll get three of these done in one day. But if you're a risk taker, you can try to do all of these at once.

7. You question your major (and your sanity) almost daily.

This is especially true when it’s on a Tuesday night and you’ve already consumed a gallon of Starbucks trying to learn everything possible before your . Or maybe this is more prevalent when you have only made it through about half of the BioChem chapter and you have to leave for your three hour lab before your exam this afternoon. Regardless, you constantly wonder if all the stress is actually worth it, but somehow always decide that it is.

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10 Stages Everyone Who Has An 8 A.M. Class Goes Through Before They Roll Out Of Bed

I have to get up at WHAT time?

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I have had two 8 a.m. classes in my college career--and I hope that I never have to take one ever again. They really are the worst things you can take, even worse than a late night class. I have compiled a few stages that I know everyone goes through during the time of their 8 a.m. class.

1. Shocked that you actually have an 8 a.m.

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I know that this was me when I realized that the only time I could take a required class was at 8 in the morning. I thought that the system was joking with me and just wanted me to suffer. I kept searching and checking everyday to see if another one was going to open up, even though three weeks of school had gone by.

2. Denying that you actually need that class and actually have to go to pass

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As soon as my teacher said that attendance was mandatory, my heart was crushed. I couldn't believe that he would make attendance mandatory on a MWF class. Three days a week, I have to be up at 7 in the morning and be functioning like a normal person.

3. The pain of waking up every other day

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I have been going to this class and every time I have to go, it is a pain that I can feel in the back of my eyes. I contemplate everyday not going because of how painful it is to go to a class where we read things off a powerpoint.

4. The guilt of wanting to not go and going and realizing that you could have slept in and read the powerpoint yourself

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I always feel like my body is guilting me when we realize that all we've done today is read off a powerpoint, which I'm pretty sure I can do by myself. I feel my body being angry when it makes me almost fall asleep in class.

5. You bargain with yourself everyday that you could miss just one class and be fine

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I would always hope that my conscious would let me skip my class, but because I am the person that hates being late, let alone missing a class.

6. Reflecting on the fact that you've done nothing new in a week

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I swear that we do the same thing everyday in that class. We just keep going over and going over the same thing.

7. The upward turn when you feel more awake after having an 8 a.m. class

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For about a week, I felt more awake and like I was getting more done every day. That slowly went away...

8. Reconstructing your life to make your 8 a.m. make more sense

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I wake up everyday and I cross a day off of my calendar and I subtract a day from the countdown.

9. Accepting the fact that this is for the ENTIRE semester and not just for now

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I think that I just have to accept that I have this class and there's no way of getting out of it.

10. The hope that you have everyday that it is going to be cancelled

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Even though I know that I will have the class every day, I still have high hopes that it will be cancelled everyday.

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