Going With the Flow

By Alsherrae’ Ray

Help me. I’m currently up to my neck in college and hopefully I won’t drown.

I was always told that college is a big transition that not many people are able to handle. After all, we’re away from our parents. We’re supposed to be responsible for our finances, our education, our nutrition, and everything else that we used to have help with. It’s a big change that some of us aren’t ready for. Little did I know, I was susceptible to the same problem that many of my peers also faced: the harsh reality that college is hard work. It didn’t hit me until recently, but when it did, it hit me like a ton of expensive college textbooks.

August 7, 2016: “I promise, I’m ready for this new challenge in life. College is hard, but I can handle it.”

September 25, 2016: (10:28pm, might I add)- “*sobbing* I don’t know what I want to do with my life. My major is hard. These classes are hard. My advisor told me not to do this. I don’t know how I’ll survive. My major isn’t guaranteeing my career. I don’t have a career after college!”

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Sparing the dramatics, that small summary of my night epitomizes the problem that many of my classmates and I face. Most of us breezed through high school and did well of enough on work to get fantastic grades, but never actually took the time to process and understand the information. I can remember countless times in high school where I learned the information just well enough to pass the test, and then proceeded to forget it forever. In high school, passing was everything. Passing meant good grades, which meant a good college acceptance. College isn’t like that. College is about learning and applying different skills so that we can better compete in the job market. After all, we’re not paying $26,000 a year to just pass.

I’m sure that eventually I’ll get used to the fact that I have to be able to split focus and pay attention to several different aspects of college. The key, which I was always warned about, is balance. Simply, I’m going to have to learn how to juggle the perfect mix of study time, social life, and involvement. Oh, and sleep (Four to five hours a night can certainly take a toll on anyone). With a few more months of practice, I’ll be better than ever at understanding college life. It’s a transition, and I’m learning to just go with the flow.

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