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When You're Not Exactly Thriving

Updated on February 10, 2019

Tonight, as I sit on the awkwardly tall, twin bed that came in my college dorm room, listening to the neighbors blare "Mo Bamba" through the walls, and mentally going over my upcoming assignments for the week, I realize that I need a pep talk. Education can be a real drag. It's overwhelming and draining, and not always very interesting. We've all experienced school burnout and there is no simple-fix recovery. If you found yourself very passionately thinking or audibly declaring "amen" to the previous statement, this article is for you.

Whether you're headed off to your dream university this fall, you've just started sophomore year, or you've almost earned that degree and senioritis is hitting you hard, everyone can use a little motivation and advice on surviving the college years. So, here's my motivation to you: college is an incredible opportunity and you are very fortunate to have this experience be part of your journey, even if it doesn't always feel that way! Look at where you are in life and know that all the hard work it took to get here is paying off--be proud!

Tonight, I'm going to share some practical tips on surviving the school years ahead of you--some you've heard before, some you haven't--and I hope they bring you fresh motivation for the week!

1. Find community. This tip isn't school related, which is exactly the point. Seek out friendships with people who refresh you so that when school starts to drag you down, you can relax with people who care about you. Just to clarify, this is not the same as hitting up the best frat parties at the end of a long week. Finding community is about long-term relationship with like-minded people. Yes, it's more work than going to a party or making a lot of casual friendships, but community will be a game-changer when it comes to surviving college.

2. Use a planner. Okay, I know you've heard this one and I won't beat a dead horse for very long here, but it is the most valuable item you can learn to use. A planner will give you a place to dump all the information swirling inside your head right now. Upcoming due dates, tests, and that one class you somehow always forget you're taking--write it down and stop thinking about it!

3. Expand your horizons. As odd as this sounds, college is not all about school. Going to college is about preparing you for a future career, through education and experience. Put your best effort into your classes, but then find ways to step away from homework while still building your resume. Start shadowing someone who works in your future career, get a part-time job, or join an intramural sport. Whatever reminds you of why you're here and getting this degree, invest in that because it's not a waste of time.

These three tips may not be profound or life-changing, but they give a pretty solid overview to my college survival strategies. As difficult as these years can be, they're here for your growth and enjoyment, so take advantage of the opportunities presented to you! Find people to love you and to love on, and do things that remind you of what you're working toward. Congratulations on how far you've come and I look forward to doing college with you, let's help each other finish strong!


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