As I step back, take a breath, and reflect on my first semester as a college student, the only words that seem to come to mind are, "Holy sh*t." Okay, maybe those aren't the only words, but still. Wow, how bizarre. Just last week I was graduating high school! Just yesterday I was moving onto campus! It's surreal. I am beyond exhausted, and some days I'm not even sure how I manage to take care of myself.

I often wonder how it is humanly possible to do this much homework and still have time to eat and sleep. But then I remind myself that some days I miss a meal or so, and others I don't go to bed until 1:00 or 2:00 am. There are times when I can barely keep my eyes open and I start to panic because the work never stops piling up, even over weekends and breaks. As I drag myself to afternoon and evening classes, I remember all those kindergarten nap times I took for granted. Shouldn't I have more energy than this? I thought I was supposed to be young and invincible? Now I plunge into episodes of anxiety over printing a paper, charging my laptop, looking presentable, or merely getting enough sleep. What is this?

This is college. And I've got (most likely) three and a half more years of it. If you're reading this, there's a good chance you have either been in my shoes, are in my shoes, or will one day be in my shoes. Whichever category you fall into, I am sorry. Don't get me wrong, some days are tons of fun and some classes are really inspiring. It's just the in-between stuff that can be a pain.

Some days I feel like college is just a bunch of cruel irony stuffed into one institution. It never fails. I have two giant projects and presentations for two separate classes and when do they fall? You guessed it. They are the same day. What week are they? Oh, just the week after Thanksgiving break. Yikes. I feel as though every time I finish one big assignment, two more fall in its place. But hey, I signed up for this. It's not like it gets any easier. Actually, it only gets harder. College is like bootcamp for the real world. So there's that to look forward to.

I love my school, I love its people, and I love all the opportunities. I can't believe I am almost to the end of my first semester. I don’t mean to sound negative, I am just exhausted. I am proud of all my hard work, but sometimes I wish I cared less. Then maybe I’d actually get some sleep every once and a while! But it’s all okay because I am working towards the things I love and trying to secure a job for later. It’s a struggle, but it’s also an adventure. Soon, I will have a brand new schedule and set of classes to tackle and the cycle will repeat itself. The assignments won’t be easier and the days won’t be longer, but I will know it will all be okay because I will have conquered this first semester.