My advice for you.
In college people have high expectations for you. They expect you to study everyday, attend class regularly, keep your grades up, work a part time job, eat healthy/work out, be involved in campus activities/groups, have a relationship, and figure out your career, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. To that, I say HA. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to say that all of those things aren’t important, because they are. I am purely trying to say don’t beat yourself up for not fulfilling what other people see as the standard, because that is NOT a standard. That is the max.
My first semester of college at WT, I quickly realized how ridiculous the “standard” was. Trying as hard as I could to live by it, I soon started to break down. I would be so tired I couldn’t pay attention in class and eventually would become sick. I would be so exhausted and sick that I would constantly miss class. Obviously, this made my grades suffer. I would then throw myself into trying to learn everything I missed, and study for hours and hours on end. I would even study through the night and get up early and go to class the next day. Then the cycle would repeat itself. As some of you know, I already am riddled with depression and this process made it much worse. It fueled my depression like gallons of gasoline being poured on fire. This also flared up my anxiety. I got to where I dreaded going to class because every time I was on campus it was a constant mixture of feeling invisible and feeling stared at. There was multiple times I reached out for help or tried to have a conversation with a classmate and was ether completely ignored or looked at like I was crazy. At other times I felt like everyone was looking at me, judging me, thinking that I was a horrible student and I didn’t belong there. It was high school all over again. No friends, depression, anxiety, and a lot of judgment. Once again, I was lost.
After a few semesters of feeling hopeless, dumb, sick, and lost I came up with a new outlook on things. I STOPPED trying to live by the standard. I studied, but not for hours on end, so that I could actually take time to enjoy the day and re-energize my mind and body. I realized how important a good nights sleep was and how it was key to get to class. If I did get to the point where I felt exhausted, sick, or extremely depressed, I would give myself a day or two to feel healthy and happy again. Now that might entail missing a class or two, or not studying as much as I would like to for a test, but it did make me feel like a better person. In doing this, I brought my GPA up, made a friend (yes one whole friend, but she is my best friend and that is a small victory), bettered my relationship with my boyfriend, and had the time and energy for a job. I am more proud of myself than ever.
So my advice for students and even non-students, is to never jeopardize your health and happiness for a grade. I’m not at all saying don’t give your all at school or skip class everyday. I am saying that sometimes you need to focus on yourself and doing so, does NOT make you a bad person or student. In college we are constantly asked what we want to do after we graduate. To that I say, be healthy and happy. Don’t live life being miserable, but strive to be happy in what you do. I think you’ll find it to be much more rewarding.
“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. “