The last semester

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Last week marked my first week of my last semester of college. In five months, I’ll be wearing my cap and gown and walking across the stage (with the hope of not falling on my face) and getting my diploma.

That’s scary.

What I am going to do after college isn’t important right now (that’s me telling all the brown aunties to stop asking me). After spending four years in college, I’ve learned some things that have helped me get through the tough times and even the times where I just didn’t know what I was doing.

If you are struggling with finding motivation or getting through college, here is some advice.

1. You made it this far.
If you can get into college, you can definitely finish it. It might take some getting used to – new school, new atmosphere, new friends. Yes, college is going to bring some tough times but it’s these times that make you stronger and more prepared for the years to come.

2. It’s going to be a bumpy road.

If it isn’t, then something is wrong. You aren’t taking chances. You aren’t putting yourself out there. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and do crazy things. You can take a difficult class or join a group you aren’t familiar with. Anything that is out of your comfort zone works. This is coming from the anti-social nerd but still, the road through college is filled with speed bumps and pot holes. Without them, we could never learn from our mistakes and thus avoid them the next time around. I’m sure this panda learned it’s lesson.

3. Change is good, but not easy.
Your college class is going to be huge. To me, coming to college was a huge shock since I came from a high school with 81 kids in my grade. I was literally a tiny fish in a huge, dark ocean. At first, I was scared and honestly I still am. How can one feel safe when there are a bunch of howling hyenas running through your halls at 2 a.m.? But you have to remember that change is good – change builds your character and prepares you for the next steps in your life.

4. You don’t need 100 friends.
After four years in college, it is safe to say that I have six good friends. Friends that understand that just because I don’t talk to them all the time or hang out doesn’t mean I don’t like them. When I’m with people I’m not close with, I get awkward and I don’t have anything to talk about. But when I do find time to be with my friends, we laugh our heads off.

Freshman year I tried to be friends with everyone and make them all happy. It didn’t work. It never works. Don’t feel pressured to please someone to be their friend. If you have to do that, they aren’t worth it.

5. Keep calm and be balanced.

Even as a senior I am still trying to figure this out. How can I balance school, extracurriculars and friends? You can’t really. By coming to college you have already agreed that some things just have to be put behind. For me, that was dance. I was on a dance team for 10 years and loved every second of it. But when I came to college, I didn’t have the time to meet and practice 4 to 5 times a week for 3 to 4 hours at a time. I couldn’t physically do it. So instead of stressing about it, I decided to let it go. I still dance, but on my own time (in my room where do one can judge).

I wrote a post about getting stressed, since that seems to be something I do a lot. But stressing gets you nowhere. If you are struggling with school, go talk to an advisor, talk to you teachers, confide in a friend. Keeping it bottled up definitely won’t help – trust me.

College is a journey for everyone. And only you can decide how you want to travel it. Do you want to be a big ball of stress with too much on your plate, or a sane human being who can still see the light at the end? I’m still working toward the latter.

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