College is hard. I don't care what you say, I don’t care how many times you tell yourself “Well, this is just a couple credits!” College is tough.

You see, I’ve always been a perfectionist. In high school, I graduated with higher than a 4.0 GPA. I was the valedictorian and I made a speech. A speech for my fellow students about how great they did. Not because high school was in and of itself that difficult, but celebrating the fact that they accomplished what they set out to do.

I encouraged them but mostly I was trying to encourage myself as I took a huge leap of faith. Studying music full time was not going to be easy. I did it partially because people saw something in me that I did not see myself. But I also did it because I wanted to grow. I wanted to be better at the thing that I loved so much and I knew that if it was something that I loved. That I was studying something that I loved that I wouldn’t give up, that I would keep trying.

Did I think that four years later I was actually going to graduate? With the degree that I came in with? No. In fact, I saw many of my friends who are strong and smart change their majors because their original majors weren’t what they thought they were going to be. College is hard. Somehow having a social life between the stress of getting your homework done, attending classes, cooking for yourself, and paying rent seems impossible.

College is hard, but I am glad I attend the one I do. Because while some people might think that my school has judgmental professors or maybe that they are too strict or their classes too difficult I know that my professors have my back. I know that in anything I set out to accomplish I will have support. I have friends, I have teachers, I have people in my church and back home cheering me on.

College is hard but so worth it.

Don’t let anyone else tell you it’s not. Don’t let you tell yourself that it’s not hard. It is! It’s really difficult. Why else would people celebrate with cheers and ceremony?

To every college student: I’m proud of you. We are going to get through this. You’re going to do it because you are smart and you are able. Many, many before you have done the same thing.

To every high school student: Life is just beginning. You don’t really know what difficulty is yet unless you took some AP classes (ya nerd). Believe me, college is not going to be easy, but it will be worth it!