So You Don't Love College?

So You Don't Love College?

A letter to students who aren't having the "best four years of their lives."

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clareleo
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Throughout high school, you are awaiting the "best four years of your life." Everything is in preparation for four years of parties, studying, and meeting life-long friends. And you can hardly wait.

But what happens when you get to school, and things aren't how you expect them to be?

The detrimental effects of social media and societal expectations work the hardest on the college experience. First, we are expected to go to college immediately following high school. Then we are supposed to instantaneously click with strangers from the start and live out "the best four years of our lives."

But sometimes, life isn't so perfect.

This is a harsh realization. Everyone around you seems to be "living their best lives" and you are stuck feeling isolated and lonely. This is not what you expected and if these are supposed to be the best four years, you don't want to see what the future holds.

I am here to reassure you that this is entirely normal. Everything takes adjustment. Maybe you'll find your people a little later, or maybe the college social scene and expectations aren't for you. Either way, everything will be okay. While yes, many people do love college, the indication that these four years have to be your best four years is, frankly, sad.

There is so much more to see and so much more life to live. Do not worry if you feel like college life isn't what you expected. And do not worry if you simply aren't in love with college.

Everyone is different. Maybe it will just take you more time to adjust. Or maybe you'll dislike the experience in general. That doesn't mean you can't find the good in your situation (as you are so lucky to even be receiving a college education). Just focus on graduation and getting your degree!

No matter what, do not think that you are weird or your dislike for the college life is abnormal. There are so many people in similar positions. No one portrays the bad on their social media, as they want everyone to believe that their life is wonderful.

So, just do your thing, work hard, and try to make the best out of your situation. You'll be out before you know it!

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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