Dear College Student,
Transition is hard. No matter how ready you were or how much you wanted to leave your town, when the reality strikes the illusion shatters.
I was so ready to leave. College was the light at the end of the very long tunnel that was high school. I have always been fiercely independent and incredibly dependable. Maybe this is how you felt when you left home too, it may have been scary but the nervousness was overcome with excitement.
Then the dorm was decorated and the clothes hung up, orientation was over and the real challenge begins. Boy, is it hard. The workload piles on fast and the relationships progress, as well as digress, so quickly you can't even keep up. Sometimes you doubt that you are even ready for this whole "adult thing" and question if you were ever really independent in the first place.
I'm here to tell you that you are doing exactly how you should be. You've uprooted the life you knew for 18 years to start your own journey, there are bound to be bumps in the road. You may not be making it to every class or completing every homework assignment as perfectly as you'd like, but that doesn't take away your strengths. It simply means your strengths are adjusting to your new life and your new workload. Remember the road of progress is not one of perfection, it's not a pretty linear graph, it's work. Keep a few things in mind:
Reach out. You're paying thousands of dollars, take advantage of all the resources your college offers whether that be the writing center or counseling.
Find balance. You need to do your homework, but you need to make memories too. No one sits down with their kids and talks about the 10-page research paper they wrote freshmen year, they talk about the time they got Denny's at 1 am and the trips downtown.
Carve time out for you. You are never alone in college. There are people everywhere and more than likely you have a roommate. Find a place on campus or a time of the day where you can simply recharge yourself.
Celebrate the small victories. Did you clean your room today? High five. Did you go to every class? High five. Did you shower? High five. Let yourself be excited about the day to day things that you manage.
Don't beat yourself up. This is the most important one, so really listen. You are going to make mistakes. You'll make big mistakes with equally large consequences and you will make little mistakes that you won't remember an hour from now. Guess what? That's what you are supposed to be doing, you are in one of the essential times of learning in your life! Be smart and try your best, but don't hold on to the little things that are bound to happen.