The end of the lengthy stress-free summer holidays was finally at an end and I would be starting college very soon. I would be venturing into a brand new chapter, immersing myself into a different journey, stepping into an unfamiliar world. My mind ran in circles with an abundance of questions filled with ambiguity: would I be able to handle it? Have I chosen the right subjects? Will I be able to make friends? Should I re-invent myself in terms of my appearance and even my character traits that have been innate within me my entire life?
I remember scrolling through Twitter and seeing people alarming the students who have just received their GCSE results and telling them that A Levels will be the toughest thing they have ever had to endure. Well let me tell you this, A Levels is a massive jump up from GCSEs, it most certainly isn’t for everyone and you may dread every single morning you have to wake up at crazy o’clock and drag yourself to lesson, but that isn’t the case for everyone.
The amount of tweets I saw saying that you may as well give up now or you don’t know what stress is until you’ve done A Levels utterly disgusted me. Okay that may have been the case for some people but what are you getting out of demotivating others and forcing your negative attitude upon them before they’ve even stepped into their college campus?
I love college. I’m ardent for each day, I respect my teachers with extreme dignity, I’m grateful for the facilities that are on offer, I have the most passionate and crazy friends and I always find myself laughing in all my lessons and smiling at how blessed I am to have been given a valuable education. And I believe that this is because I decided to reject the horror stories that people were forcing into my head and replaced them with positive thoughts. I remember telling myself the night before the first day of college: screw what everyone’s saying, I’m going to try my hardest to do well and I’m going to stand tall no matter what troubles anyone throws at me. But most importantly, I’m going to be myself. Try not to see it as another two years of difficulty but see it as two remarkable years of learning and growing as a person.
Since starting college I’m finally understanding who I truly am, my strengths and who I want to be in the future. I am much more content with my life and the direction in which it’s going. I’m not at crossroads anymore. Isn’t that what college is really about? And sadly it’s something I never could have done back in high school surrounded by fake friends and careless teachers who only turned up because it’s their job.
As nerdy as it is, I’m proud of the fact that I turn up to lesson on time, I get all of my homework out of the way the night that it’s given and I do extra reading outside of class to go over the topics because I strive to do well. Going to college is a privilege and I feel that people forget that sometimes.
I may be doing completely different subjects to you which I know is a huge contrasting factor in terms of work load but I guess what I’m trying to say is that your college experience is what YOU make of it. It can be two years of endless nights feeling like you’re constantly on the verge of an existential crisis or it can be a beautiful experience full of smiles, laughter and permanent friendships.
I’ve had days where the sun seems to wear a deceiving mask and all I wish to do is curl up in bed and dream of a distant land. At the beginning of term I missed two weeks because of my operation and I felt like every ounce of willpower was crumbling between my fingertips. I also dropped one of my subjects because I dreaded every lesson and just wasn’t grasping it. That was the best decision I ever made. I know for a certainty that I wouldn’t have been remotely happy if I had continued it. But I knew that soon enough I would be welcomed by fantastic teachers and learning mind-blowing theories and facts. I feel like the single jigsaw pieces of my existence are finally fitting together and I’m happy. And to be able to say ‘I’m happy’ means a lot as this time last year I was the complete opposite.
I hope this helps you to see your education in a much more positive light and to not worry so much. I realise that things can change in an instant and when exams come around I’ll probably despise college but for now I’m okay. Remember that college is only for two years so squeeze the most amount of goodness you can from it and always keep in mind the true purpose of why you’re there. High school doesn’t last forever and neither does college but whenever someone plants a seed of doubt in your oblivious and impressionable mind, never let late nights and irrational decisions water it.
How are you finding college? Has your experience been a good one?