Here you are, the crossroads of your life. You’ve made it to college. You’re finally away from home, you can’t wait to learn and you’re free. But wait, all your friends from high school are throwing a massive rager this weekend. How can you miss that? Not to mention you’re girlfriend wants to hang out every day. What’s the harm in that? Football game this Saturday? You wouldn’t miss it for the world. Freedom feels amazing! But you blink and the semester is over; you’ve failed all your classes.
I went through the ringer last year, and experienced something far worse than waking up late for a chemistry test…College had chewed me up, gargled me for a few moments and spit me right out.
It was a crisp Tallahassee August day when I began my freshman year. I was a biology major, young and full of life. Syllabus week was a breeze, and I figured the semester wouldn’t be too hard. However, I was basically alone up here. Only knowing a few people made the anxiety build up in my body. On the Friday of that week, I got a text from a friend inviting me to a party so I could get introduced. I figured, “What the hell, why not?” That night was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I discovered a group of people who could deal with my shenanigans and not get annoyed by them instantly. It was everything I had hoped college would be; I was genuinely ecstatic for the things that were in store.
Each weekend, we did the same thing, never getting tired of seeing one another over and over. School slowly became less and less of a concern for me. Bio test on Monday? Pshhh I’ll just study for three hours before the test and be all right. Little did I know that cramming doesn’t work in college.
You can be as confident as you want but when that test asks “Where does the phosphate group link with the fatty acid,” you’ll know you’re in trouble. Weeks went by as I did the same thing over and over. I would do poorly on my tests, brush it off, then head over to my friend’s place and proceed to annihilate everyone in Fifa. Before I could even say “Cristiano Ronaldo,” the semester was over and I’d done absolutely abysmal.
Over the break, I didn’t let it bother me. “I can turn it all around in the spring.” I reloaded my schedule on hard science classes and told myself things would be different. But in actuality, it would only get worse. The parties increased in frequency, which directly correlated to the fact that my work output decreased drastically. The days were getting warmer as spring arrived, but my heart just continued to grow colder.
I was only sleeping three hours a night as I crammed for tests as well as doing my lab reports on things I knew nothing about. I began to question if I really cared about science. I tried to tough it out, and once more it blew up in my face. Disappointment in myself enraged my mind. “I can be a better student,” I thought. I wasn’t applying myself, and I let all the outside distractions get the better of me. This whole situation was more horrifying than the infamous Mark Sanchez “butt fumble.”
Over the summer, I realized how I really felt. On the outside I was cheerful as always, but I was broken on the inside. I slowly came to the realization that I wasn’t a bio major. My dreams of being “Brandon Nye The Science Guy” crushed me like a giant boulder fell on my head.
One quiet summer night, I was reading my old tweets and started dying of laughter. Vain, aren’t I? It hit me; I was a writer. My whole life I’ve loved to write down little stories to keep for my later enjoyment, so why not pursue a future in it? At the beginning of this school year, I decided to fully go through with the major switch and jump fields.
Now, here I am four months later, and that giant boulder that was on my head has been thrown to the opposite side of Landis Green. I’ve got all A’s, I love all my classes and I’m still able to go out and enjoy hanging out with my friends. Finding balance and making the switch has had such a positive effect on everything. College is about finding yourself and what you love to do. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a game of Fifa to win.