- Career and Majors
- College Application and Admission
- College or University Reviews
- Course Reviews
- Jobs and Internships
- Scholarships and Student Loans
- Homework Questions
- Student Life
- Textbook Reviews
- Used Textbooks Exchange
- Free Tools
The College Student Vs. Emotional Baggage
So, you want to go to college? You’re either starting classes fresh out of high school, or you are an older student who is bound by the day to day responsibilities of domestic life as well as the myriad of other issues that go along with being an adult. Think you are prepared for the journey and demands that lie ahead of you in college, well grab yourself a life jacket and an inner tube and be prepared for the ride of your life.
There are many issues that spring up in life, from families to friends, car trouble and buying your first house. There is the daunting drama that one faces when interacting and communicating with people as well as the discontent at one’s own emotional base-the thoughts that creep into our mind like the grim reaper of insecurities-can we handle what lies ahead of us? What sort of obstacles shall we face along our journey in our education? The answer is simple. Stay optimistic and as Walt Disney has said, “Keep moving forward.”
Within the past nine months of my life, I have faced an abundance of challenges that have left me downtrodden and weary. From a divorce, dating the man of my dreams only to find that he was being duplicitous, getting back together with said boyfriend after copious amounts of thought as well as persuasion, to my ex-husband moving out of the house, my friend moving in, and then promptly moving out. I’m trying desperately to find and maintain a job; there is also the care of my children, cleaning my house, which is in total and complete disarray from the jostling of belongings. There is my work online, the visit from my boyfriend, as he is home from Afghanistan on R&R who is, as I have been informed of as of late, planning on popping the question. There is the meeting of his family, the friction between his younger sister and I, which has furthered the anxiety of the impending engagement. Of course, I have to take into consideration the shaky relationship I still try to maintain with my ex-husband, which is exhausting in of itself trying to maintain civility. There is also the attempt to obtain cash assistance through the state, until I find stable employment, so that I can keep my head above water, as well as filling out paperwork for home modification through my mortgage company in an attempt to lower my monthly payments, so they are more manageable. There is trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, and because I am the go-to for my friends’ problems and issues that arise within their lives, I have spent time helping them categorize their priorities and help them along as much as I can and be the proverbial shoulder-to-cry-on. Quite a handful, don’t you think? The cherry on top? Taking classes and trying to maintain a high grade-point average.
There are times when all I want to do is cry because upon looking over this list, it’s seemingly overwhelming. In reality, it IS overwhelming. There are times when I forego sleep simply to catch up on things, most of the time it’s because when I lay down to go to sleep, my mind is racing with things that need to be done and that basically life would be a lot easier if I could just sustain myself on coffee and energy drinks to get it all done. I am the type of person who wants things done now, otherwise I cannot relax. I have taken to multitasking a lot for when I have my children during the week I take periodic breaks to play with them while I am doing my work on the computer, or I enlist the help of my five-year-old daughter to help pick up around the house and try to make it as fun as possible so it seems more like a game than it does work. I take blocks of time, mostly on the weekends when the kids are with their dad to play catch-up and when I take my cigarette breaks, I bring my phone with me, so I can get my social interaction out of the way at the same time.
Then of course there is the impending engagement as well as the friction with my soon-to-be fiance and his sister. Honestly, I've been taking this day by day and not focusing all my time and energy in it. As much as I believe in him, trust him, and love him, I’m also a stubborn fool, who thinks she’s superwoman, who can do it all. I am the type of person who has a hard time asking for help, who is determined to do things on her own. I have discovered ways of bypassing the need to ask for help unless it’s something that cannot be ignored, such as help through the state monetary wise. From my own experience, I haven’t’ had the luxury of having dependable help regarding things that I need other than a reliable babysitter and proverbial shoulder-to-cry-on myself. I have found through my experiences that the only person who I can depend on is myself and my dad for he has not failed me yet. Sometimes I realize that pride can be a hindrance at times, but sometimes it’s better to sit back and think critically upon the situation at hand and write a list of things that need to be accomplished and then write a separate list of steps that need to be taken to accomplish that task instead of relying on people to do it for you.
Learning self-sufficiency in college is just as mandatory as the school work, especially for students who are just getting out on their own and becoming independent and out from under the umbrella help from the parental units. Although sometimes the demands and surprise dramas that spring up in life have the ability to throw you off course, how you handle the situation on an emotional standpoint will help you to guide you through and better prepare you for the bigger obstacles that lie in the years ahead.
I realize that it sounds corny, but life does not give you more than you can handle at one time and what life throws at you is determined by how strong you are and how much fortitude you have to jump over those hurdles and continue upon your way. Usually, my first instinct is to cry, and then after I get the pity party out of the way, I think about and write down the tasks that are required of me within a given period of time. When things like this happen, and you are stretched so thin, at a loss for sleep, and feel like the entire world is crashing down upon you, having someone to talk to also is important. This confidant of sorts can also give you a perspective on what steps you need to take in order to get through the rut and sometimes because of the emotional connection that we have with our responsibilities and we as individuals know what is on the line if those tasks aren’t’ completed are often clouded by doubt, apprehension, and the second guessing of our capabilities. Having someone to talk to can help sway those feelings into something more concrete, which will then turn into a sort of determination to succeed.
Overall, the most important thing never doubts yourself, and instead of looking at the big picture, take down one task at a time and check it off the list as you complete it or get through it. For if you jump from task to task while taking breaks in between, there is a good chance you will lose track of where you are and fall further behind in your responsibilities. List your top priorities first, and then move along to the less important tasks. Keep the faith in yourself, and don’t ever give up for whatever rapids you come across within this river of life, there is a chance you’ll come out the other side completely drenched, tired, and spent, but when you look back you’ll think “Hey, I got out of there, and I made it through.” Then look to the front of you to the pristine waters that lay ahead. If there are no pristine waters ahead, instead another onslaught of rapids, you’ll be prepared for the next round because you got through the first.