College Taught Me…

I graduate college bright and early tomorrow and it is with a grateful heart that I’ll be doing so. I went to college only because I didn’t know what else to do, and I didn’t drop out only because I didn’t know what else I’d do if I did. Now that I’m graduating, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m trying to pay less attention to that (to keep the anxiety for a later date) and more attention towards all of the love I should have towards my support group and a few of the lessons I’ve learned from my college experience:

You can get through anything. Take this from someone who wanted nothing more than to not be going to school, but alls I did was go to school. Trust me, whatever it is, you can do it. I know that going to school isn’t the worst thing in the world, and that I’m truly lucky to have had the opportunity- but when you have to spend four years of your life working towards something you don’t really care about, it starts to mess with your mental state.

I spent more time writing papers, reading college textbooks and crying about not eating any delicious food in the dorms, than I did doing anything I enjoyed. I desperately wanted time to read (I brought all my favorite books to live in the dorm with me, and alls they could do was remind me how I couldn’t be in a relationship with them), to sleep, to do art, but college gave me neither the time nor the mental capacity to so. So, I started feeling very melancholy, and I rarely ever got the chance to stop.

Just like you have to schedule homework, class and work into your day, you also have to schedule time to relax. I spent too many nights going to bed right after doing homework, and too many mornings waking up to immediately go to school(which made for a very cranky Breezy), without ever giving my brain time to breathe. I finally realized that I was allowed to stop doing homework a couple hours before bed because I had been working on something all day long.

It wasn’t so much that I realized I was allowed to treat myself, but that in order to stay motivated and functioning, I had to let myself breathe. Watching my favorite show, reading a short story, hanging out with friends, really doing anything besides what i’d been doing all day, before bed was as much of a necessity as anything else. Yes, I might have had to finish a paper, but my brain needed to take time to recoup and unwind. I just couldn’t get through the week without doing so.

I know I just made my time at college sound unbearable- but it wasn’t always. Once I started learning how to balance work and pleasure, things got better. But when I started learning that my professors and bosses were the doors to bigger opportunities, things became great.

It’s a great feeling when your professors go from being just that to someone with whom you can talk friendly with and intelligently. You realize they’re real people with interesting things to say outside of their course plan. They can inspire you, open your eyes to new things, and offer you opportunities if you open up to them.

I found out it was so, so important to work in the art department even though I wasn’t getting a lot of hours, because not only did I get to know other artists with who I could collaborate, but I was introduced to so many connections that could potentially employ me and my degree.

If I would’ve known four years ago what I know now, the ride through college would’ve been a lot smoother. But, college is so important to figuring out who you are, and everyone has to figure out college for themselves. Maybe you need to focus more on school, instead of giving yourself time to breathe- maybe it worked for me but your remedy is something completely different. Cool. Find what it is that can make this hectic life a little more simple and do it.

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