Tag Archives: college

LIFE AS A COLLEGE STUDENT…

I can feel it now. The air is changing. Girls are exchanging their running shorts for leggings, their hydroflasks for starbucks cups.

Frat guys are….well, they won’t change until the first snow storm hits campus then they’ll exchange their stupid shorts for stupid sweats.

Pumpkin spice is back.

It’s truly the start of the fall semester.

And we’re kicking off our seasonal school depression early this year.

How do I know that we’re kicking the depression off early? How can I possibly know?

I’m horribly moody, I’m not eating, I’m not excersing, I’m sleeping all the time, I’m angry, I’m unmotivated in every way to do even things I want to do (like, I don’t even want to binge anything on Netflix, even with all the scary movies set to pop up).

I know that if I don’t pull myself out of this, I’m going to fail this semester. And I know because I’ve done this before.

My first college semester, I ended falling into a similar depression because I felt I couldn’t add up. I didn’t have all the stuff everyone else had for school supplies and dorm room decor and snacks and cars. And because I knew that I couldn’t afford my one semester, that no matter what I did, I would be leaving at the end of that semester.

So why am I back in that state of mind now? Well, I’m going through something worse than my freshman year. I have no friends, no hobbies, work all the damn time, and still, I can’t make enough to stay in school to finish a degree I should been done with by now.

And I’m so sick and tired of people telling me ‘this is where you’re meant to be.’ Because no. It’s not where I’m meant to be.

I’m supposed to be in grad school, learning veterinary medicine, volunteering at the local shelter and working at a local coffee shop as the spunky, sweet barista that everyone loves.

I don’t want some advice like ‘you can change your reality at any time’ or ‘why not do what you want to do’ or ‘take chances and it’ll all work out’.

Because it won’t.

I’m not in a position where I can just quit my job today and find one tomorrow paying the same or better with the same or better hours.

I can’t just make money appear out of nowhere, or even apply for student loans because I don’t have a cosigner.

I can’t just speedrun through the last 8 semesters of my undergrad, nor can I just take a test to pass them and get credit, because none of my remaining courses are ones that you can learn with on the job experience.

I can’t just move to a whole new city or whatever and start over because I have obligations, like work and school and my family, keeping me where I am.

This isn’t something where I can just sit in the sunshine and hope that the world will get better magically or that my brain will kick itself into gear.

This isn’t something where I can ‘just drink water and hydrate’ the problem away.

This isn’t something where I can self-care and skin-care routine the problem away.

This is a problem that I will be trapped in until my life is over because if I want to get anywhere, I have to play this absolutely stupid game of jumping through hoops.

Student life: When you get off track…

Everyone dreams of working through college in their 4-year program and then shuttling into adulthood with a career.

But what happens when you get thrown for a loop and your 4 year plan because a 4+ year plan?

The first thing I want to say is…

I know it sucks. It sucks so much. You want to scream and cry and punch a wall because now you’re entire life plan is shot.

I get it. I really get it. I’m 22 and just now finishing the half way point on my SOPHOMORE YEAR. And I started college straight out of high school.

So what happened that I fell off track?

Well, go check out some of my other posts about the First World Problem and then come back here.

So I had to take a couple years and work through some money problems and all that jazz. So here I am, about 3 years behind the curve and working to try to get things right.

Am I pissed off? Every damn day of my life.

Am I upset that I’m not graduated yet and not in grad school yet? So fucking upset that sometimes, I have to stop myself from crying in the middle of class.

Am I mad that I know other kids have it easier than me? Damn straight I am.

But what I am going to do about?

Well, I’m going to right about so that other kids going through this bullshit know that someone out there knows what it feels like to feel like an absolute failure and for life to keep kicking you in the teeth.

But how do you get back on track and make sure you stay on track?

Three easy steps.

  1. Come up with a course plan. Write down every single course you need to take and when. This is your road map. Sometimes you’ll have to take a detour, but it’s okay.
  2. Be prepared to fall off track again. Between you and me, when life decides to fuck with you once, you are never going to be let off easy again. So just be prepared to keep on failing.
  3. Don’t listen to what anyone has to say if they haven’t been there. Your advisers, while meaning well, will try to lead you astray because they honestly don’t understand what it’s like to be in the position you are in. You are in a very unique position and unless they themselves can tell you about how shitty their time at college was, then don’t trust them to know how to help you. Take their advice with a grain of salt and keep working.

So keep your nose to the grindstone and just keep working.

Is it all worth it? Probably not.

Will you probably regret finishing school in 10-20 years when you’re still paying off all the loans and you hate your career? Yeah, most likely.

But keep going anyways because then at least you’ll have a story to tell at the end of the day.

Student life: what they don’t tell you about college classes..

College is a fantastic time. It’s a great time to learn about the world and your self and your place in the world. But lately, more and more kids are heading into college and struggling through their first year(s).

Why is that?

In my opinion, from what I’ve observed being a college student, and being asked questions by kids at work (I have teenagers on my team who want to know everything about college), college is set up to fail a vast majority of incoming students.

What is the disconnect between what kids are told by their high school teachers and what actually happens at college?

For one, most classes are actually self taught. I know, I know… You’re paying thousands and thousands just to be there, plus the hundreds on textbooks, so that means the professor should show you something right?

No. The professor is just there to make sure you get evaluated for the class. The actual learning part is up to you. You need to actually do the ‘optional’ reading and do every activity. The lecture is just to see what the professor will test you on. No actual learning happens in a lecture. It happens in your dorm room at 3am as you struggle through the same chapter for the 10th time trying to memorize the equation for cellular respiration.

Another thing kids don’t get told about is how to effectively time manage. Every kid thinks they know how to manage their time and those who took extracurriculars in high school are extremely sure about their ability to time manage.

What nobody wants to tell them is that, real time management involves prioritizing tasks and pushing some tasks off until last minute because more important tasks come up.

For example, knowing that a big project is due, these freshies will spend hours trying to finish a 10 point homework assignment instead of plotting out and researching for the project that’s due in two days.

Just because something is due immediately doesn’t mean you absolutely have to complete it if it’s going to put your grade in jeopardy for another course.

Honestly, there is so much they don’t tell you about college when you’re a high school junior or senior.

And even with all the advice out there from kids like me who have just finished college, or are still in the middle of it… There’s still so much nobody tells you.

Like, syllabuses will save your ass time and time again, so don’t lose them or throw them out after the first class.

Or stock up on tissues and cold medicine before cold season hits, especially if you live in the dorms, because you will catch something.

Pick one day a week to always do laundry otherwise you will run out of clean underwear and usually before a big event (date, job interview, family dinner).

Write notes in class in pen because a pen will 9 times out of 10 work more consistently than a pencil.

Do not make in class notes pretty. You will spend too much time switching between highlighters and then lose information that will definitely be on the test.

Do not wear impractical shoes or clothing, no matter how cute you think you look. Those heels will be your bane when you have to walk all the way across campus in the sudden rainstorm.

Do not party. Just don’t. Not only are the legal implications shitty (wait until you have to pay your first ticket), but if you party with strangers, bad shit happens. Maybe not to you or your friends, but bad shit happens.

Always carry a charger and a snack. Always. There will be days you get stuck in class and miss lunch or dinner.

Set alarms and reminders on your phone for everything. Everything, from taking out the trash to a project due next week to reminding yourself to take a break from studying so you can actually make it to the dining hall for food.

When you move out of the dorms, you will trash your new place at least once in the semester. And not party-trash. I mean, working 30 hours, projects galore, haven’t done the dishes in weeks trashed.

You will get at least one shitty professor. One who makes you hate that class and their department. Suck up dealing with them because honestly, they can and will fail you for a shitty attitude. Happened to me. But that’s a story for another time.

No amount of words I put out will actually make your experience any different.

Lay off the coffee shop lattes because you will inevitably go broke. Trust me.

Coffee and energy drinks are not meal replacements.

Most assignments are listed only in the syllabus and it’s your responsibility to know what is die when. These assignments will only be listed in the syllabus and never brought up in class.

Check and double check everything you write for essays. If your allowed opinion based(usually arts and some literature classes) then just make sure everything makes sense. If you need sources (science reports), please learn how to academically write.

You will spend thousands to be here, but you will be expected to pay out of pocket to print 90% of anything you need printed, including notes, project, reports, and more.

Everyone is pretentious and completely full of themselves. Avoid who you can, be courteous to those you cannot avoid.

Splurge on pens because the last thing you need is for your pen to quit working in the middle of lecture. Don’t share pens for anything.

You will think you are starving. You are not. Eat only meals 3 times a day and 2 snacks a day between major classes.