My time as an undergrad did not turn out well. In high school, some described my thoughts on college as naïve. I thought you treated it like high school.
You did your four years, then you graduated and moved on with your life.
However, I didn’t realize that in college you go through ups and downs academically and you learn to understand that life has periods of highs and lows. I thought this way because prior to college, I struggled academically at various points from elementary to high school. For example, I took a remedial math course in my freshman year of college, with a teacher that I couldn’t stand because it felt as if he were screaming at us and insulting out intellect. The other math class I took during my second year felt so foreign to me. I don’t know how I even passed it. I thought that by the time I arrived at college I shouldn’t have a problem.
Because I had dealt with what I thought it meant to struggle academically, by now, I should have dealt with it enough that college should have been a breeze.
By the time I got to college, I began to experience hard times and I wasn’t prepared for it. My mental health started to unravel at points because of stress related to school. I did not prepare for the hard times because I had convinced myself that “I am where I always wanted to go to school.” So, the idea of problems creeping into my ideal place at times seemed hard to comprehend because the two didn’t add up. How did my dream school slowly become penetrated with problems? This should not have begun to happen. I had experienced and survived already. All the staying up late studying, tutoring and trying to find ways to get every point needed to pass a course. How could I have still been struggling now?
I didn’t give this part of the experience permission to happen. I did this already.
As this depleting experience and relationship with my classes continued to follow me throughout my time at school, it did make it hard to perform well and it began to affect my grades causing me to either repeat a course or accept a grade lower than what I wanted.
Looking back at my life now I realize that I didn’t fully understand that problems don’t end just because of one period in your life has ended.
Problems will always exist. Your response, however, determines the outcome.
When I didn’t get into my ideal academic program at first, a journalism program, it devastated and confused me. Now I realize that it worked out the way it needed to because of my limited thinking at that time. The problem didn’t involve me wanting to study journalism. I used the problem as my response when it did not happen in the way I thought it should. I understand that reaching for a goal has its benefits, but it becomes something else with a limited mindset and life experiences. You no longer come off as a real person, instead, you come off as someone who won’t make it very far.
Thankfully the twists and turns my life took me through taught me a few things. The first lesson taught me to really pay attention to myself and my surroundings. I think if things went differently, I wouldn’t have gained the insight on how to really live and that comes by noticing the messages or signs that life always gives. The messages that I did learn so early in life caused me to get hungrier for more information on developing into a life seeker and understanding where my academic journey played a role and for that, I am truly grateful.