Having An Existential Crisis In College

Having An Existential Crisis At Age 19 Doesn't Mean You're Failing, It Means You're Growing Up

Growing up sucks... but I guarantee you're not the only one stressing out about it. I'm going through an existential crisis at age 19 and here's how I'm dealing with it.

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Growing up is a scam.

Now that I'm a sophomore in college, I truly realize how overwhelming and confusing this time in our lives is. When you're making the transition from high school to college, you don't really realize what you're getting yourself into. You have an idea of what you want to do in the future, but you probably don't have a set plan (unless you've really got your shit together...if you're one of these people, I applaud you). But nevertheless, you have to apply to colleges and declare a major and then you're forced to hit the ground running.

Deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life as a teenager is completely unfair. Don't argue with me on this... how are we supposed to pick our fate, when we don't even know what the world has to offer us yet??? Teenagers are allowed to enlist in the military but aren't even allowed to enjoy an alcoholic beverage... and yet we have to make the single most important decision of our lives at a time when we still have to raise our hands to ask to use the bathroom.

I'm now in my first semester of my sophomore year of college, and I'm starting to second-guess myself. I have declared Public Relations as my major, and hope to one day get a career in the communications industry. Basically, I have many interests, including social media marketing, event planning, business administration, visual communication, etc. I chose this major because I felt that I would have a good outlook on finding a job after college.

Even though I enjoy my major, I still find myself comparing my path to everyone else around me. Somehow I feel like I'm not smart enough or involved enough or have enough things on my resume. But how in any way is this healthy? I'm only 19 years old and I'm making myself sick over the thought of my future.

I'm now making it a point to reassure myself that I'm on the right path for ME. I need to learn to get out of my own head and make sure I'm taking care of myself because everything will work out in the end. Self-care, deep breaths and mental planning are key for figuring things out. Every day I will tell myself the following: You are smart, you are competent, you will find a job, you will be happy, you will make your parents proud.

If you're reading this and need a little reassurance that you're on the right path: You are smart, you are competent, you will find a job, you will be happy, you will make your parents proud. I believe in you. Go be a teenager and worry about finding an internship later. I promise it will all work itself out.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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