Surviving College When You're Not Feeling Okay

Surviving College When You're Not Feeling Okay

Put away the tissues and get to work


This semester has proved to be quite the challenge for me because I've been dealing with a whole lot of health issues. At the beginning of the semester, I was hit with kidney infections and it continued from there. Finding the motivation to write that ten page essay you've been putting off to the very last minute can but hard but that last ounce of energy is almost impossible to find while sick. I've learned through this experience that health is really the most important aspect of life especially when you're trying to study and make those As. I'm not gonna lie to you and say that with just a little more Vitamin C and sleep you'll make it through. Surviving college with little energy can be tough but you can do it. I've found that setting a list of smaller and more manageable goals can help you to feel more accomplished and avoid the dreaded oh no moment when the work begins to pile up. Chai tea becomes a healthier alternative to my usual iced mocha or a vanilla latte. You'll thank me later.

At the end of the day, you're in college to get that degree and you can't walk across that stage without your health. The easiest and most important step to feeling better faster is to get sleep. I used to stay up till 2am most nights binge watching Grey's Anatomy or Dexter. Now, I put my laptop away so I don't hate myself the next morning. I have also decided to take naps more often throughout the day. Last semester, I would take a nap right after class and end up sleeping two hours, sometimes even right through dinner. I would wake up feeling groggy and unmotivated for the rest of the night. Instead, I try to eat smaller meals and be productive when I have the most possible energy. I have to take advantage of the moments when I'm feeling okay because life is unpredictable. Classes and assignments won't stop if you stop.

I have become a stronger and more resilient version of myself after all of this. Some days I felt like curling into a ball under the covers and drinking tea but I have my friends to thank for encouraging me to keep going. They often bring me a Panera or a chocolate chip muffin in order to cheer me up and sit with me while I study. One thing is for sure: I wouldn't have made it through without them. Sometimes even the littlest acts of kindness are enough to brighten up the whole day. I've found that I have to be as appreciative as possible, especially on the days I'm feeling okay. This renewed perspective has allowed me to focus on the things that are most important to me and not to mention that I have a huge appreciation for any class that doesn't start in the crazy early hours of the morning. I have a wonderful support system of my friends, boyfriend, and family that has made this all possible. If you're ever facing a serious illness in college, take a deep breathe because it'll be okay.

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I Don't Care How Hard Your Major Is, There Is No Excuse Not To Have A Job While In College

If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.


We seem to live in a generation where everyone wants to go to college.

It is nice to see that people want to invest in their education, but at what expense? It's easy to commit to a school, and it is even easier to get yourself and your parents into thousands of dollars of debt because you're "living your best life."

To me, it's pathetic if you're over the age of eighteen and you don't have some sort of income or responsibilities outside of homework and attendance. The old excuse, "I want to focus on school," is no longer valid. You can get all A's while having a job, and that has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather your will to succeed. "I don't have time for a job/internship," translates to, "I'm really lazy,".

You don't need to overextend yourself and work forty hours a week, but you should at least work summers or weekends. Any job is a good job. Whether you babysit, walk dogs, work retail, serve tables or have an internship. You need to do something.

"My major is too hard," is not an excuse either. If you can go out on the weekends, you can work.

The rigor of your major should not determine whether or not you decide to contribute to your education. If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

Working hard in school does not compensate for having any sense of responsibility.

I understand that not everyone has the same level of time management skills, but if you truly can't work during the school year, you need to be working over the summer and during your breaks. The money you make should not exclusively be for spending; you should be putting it towards books, loans, or housing.

Internships are important too, paid or not.

In my opinion, if you chose not to work for income, you should be working for experience. Your resume includes your degree, but your degree does not include your resume. Experience is important, and internships provide experience. A person working an unpaid internship deserves the same credit as a student working full/part-time.

Though they are not bringing in income for their education, they are gaining experience, and opening up potential opportunities for themselves.

If you go to college just to go to class and do nothing else, then you don't deserve to be there. College is so much more than just turning in assignments, it is a place for mental and academic growth. You need to contribute to your education, whether it is through working for income or working for knowledge or experience.

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College Made Me Feel Like I Can't Have Free Time

Every second that I do have free, I feel like I need to be working on some type of homework.


There's no doubt that college is taxing on most student's mental health. You get to the point where you feel stressed about even breathing. I have hit the point where I feel like I'm permanently affected by the stress that I've dealt with this semester.

I used to have so much free time. Even in my other semesters, I had time to hang out with my friends, work, and even be lazy when I wanted to be.

I was still a good student, I got all my assignments done on time and I worked hard on them, but I never really had an overwhelming workload.

That is, until this semester. I got to a point where work was overwhelming, I was working longer hours than I was used to, and having to spend every second that I wasn't in class or at work doing homework, whether it was just lengthy math problems or writing multiple essays or scripts.

After months of being in this habit, when my workload from both work and school died down and I actually had free time, I didn't know what to do with myself.

When my friends were busy and I just wanted a relaxing day at home, since I felt like I deserved it, I would try to just lay down and rest, either reading a good book or catching up on all the shows that my stress had caused me to miss.

But there was always a voice in the back of my head reminding me of every upcoming assignment. I would start thinking about the essay due the next week, or a test that I could be studying for ahead of time.

That voice kept telling me I was being unproductive and wasting my time if I wasn't getting ahead on school work when I finally had the time.

And so I'm still in a position, at the end of the semester, where I feel like I'm wasting my time every time I lay down and just want to take a nap because I'm exhausted from running between work and school. I'm trying to fight myself and tell myself that I am allowed to be lazy for at least a little bit, and I don't need to be constantly working.

Hopefully, that voice wins over, especially with summer coming up. With all of the free time, I'll have since I won't have to stress about school, hopefully, I'll be able to better balance my busy days with my lazy days.

I know this is probably an issue for many college students who are overwhelmed with everything that they have to do. Hopefully, summer break is a nice break for all of us and it gives us the chance to get the free time that we all deserve for surviving this semester, and the school year overall.

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