College Sucks and High School Doesn't Matter
A Rant About Adaptation
College really sucks.
Don't get me wrong. I have so much admiration in my heart for academia, school spirit, the connections, all of it; however, it can be a downer. I don't want anyone to read this and think "Wow, college is the worst." It is still an important and pivotal part of growing up and dancing into adulthood. As a college freshman, however, I've had a rude awakening.
I guess I'd like to tell you about it as a way to vent, but I feel as if my tribulations could serve as a cautionary tale to others. First of all, you might need a little bit of a background on me to understand what I have to say about educational institutions. In high school, I didn't work at all. Sure I did my part and turned in my assignments on time, but I also never put in extra effort. In all of my elementary and secondary years, I had never read a single textbook and I never studied. I winged it. Surprise! Winging it really worked out for me. I graduated in the top 20 of my class with a 4.9 GPA. I had also graduated with four honors chords, a Child Development Associate, a nursing assistant certification, and several other workforce certifications. Here's where it sucks: none of that matters.
Sure, I got a full ride to my college of choice and was an eager beaver to start school, but I quickly learned that college isn't high school. I know what you're thinking. "Duh, Phoebe! Of course college isn't like high school." To that I say, "I know." What I mean is that you can be a kid genius in high school and flop in college. You can be a total doofus in high school and kick major ass in college. Point is, what happens in high school doesn't matter. It's all about the transition.
Those who are adaptable will succeed. If, like myself, you aren't one of those people, college can be scary. Creatures of habit will have a rude awakening. What works in high school won't work here. It doesn't matter how many AP or honors courses you've taken (trust me, I've taken them all). If you aren't willing to change, to adapt, college will suck.
But don't worry my friend! I'm here to help you. Throughout my rough ride through freshman year, I've learned a couple of things that will help you to survive the face throttle that is college.
1. Find your people.
No matter where you go in life, you will always need people; college is no exception. Finding people who vibe with you is key to survival. These pals will help you study, cry with you over finals, and gain about 15 pounds in top ramen with you. Even finding people who don't think like you can be beneficial. Like I said earlier, college is all about adapting. When you find people who don't think like you, take the opportunity to learn from them. If what you're doing to tackle college isn't working, adapt; try to use their game plan.
2. Talk to your professors.
Believe it or not, most professors aren't demon spawn. They want you to succeed. Crazy, right? No matter what your class size is, make an effort to get to know them and they will do the same. Establish a professional connection, ask questions, and offer new ideas. While you learn from your professor, they will learn from you.
3. Take a chill pill.
Not like a literal chill pill though; I'm not suggesting that you do drugs, but don't take life too seriously. Yes, it is important to pass your classes and do what needs to get done, but don't give yourself a heart attack over it. This is the point in life where you finally get to start deciding for yourself. Decide what is important to you. Decide what you want to do. Decide what is worth stressing over. Here's a hint for that last one: not much.
4. Enjoy your time in class.
Choosing the right major for yourself is hard and that's okay. To be frank, choosing your major should be hard because choosing your passion is. If you find yourself dreading the classes that focus on your major, maybe it is time to switch. You don't have to be good at what you choose, but you should enjoy it nonetheless.
5. Let the good times roll!
There are so many exciting and unique opportunities in college. Take advantage of them, learn from them, and do what you want!
6. Adapt. Adapt. Adapt.
As this is the main focus of my rant, I can't stress this enough! You must find your new flow. What may have worked in the past may not work now; that's okay. Learn from your mistakes and use them to find new ways of making it through your classes. Like my calculus professor once told me, " Take the class. Don't let the class take you."
Now it's taken me a minute to learn these things. To be completely honest, I'm still wrestling with the transition from high school to college. To simply summarize, college sucks and high school doesn't matter. In the end, it's all up to us and our ability to adapt to life's challenges. It takes time and it takes practice, but it's in us all.