By Jessica Pike, Staff Writer
After twelve years of schooling, teens are ecstatic to be free of high school and move on to becoming an adult, only to find out that, just kidding, school’s not over yet. At least it’s not if you want to get a high-paying and respectable job in the current era. On top of that, you have to apply for scholarships and loans, move away from home, buy textbooks and put yourself in debt. Being a freshman in college can be a very stressful and trying experience, and many students end up dropping out by the end of the first semester. As Rainbow Rowell says in her book Fangirl, “Months are different in college, especially freshman year. Too much happens. Every freshman month equals six regular months—they’re like dog months.”
The problem with college is that it puts too much of a burden on students that are just starting out, and they haven’t yet learned to balance it. When a teenager leaves high school and realizes that they have to go to college, the last thing they want is to be put through more stress for something that is required to get a moderately paying job. One of the things that I did to help combat this stress was in the placement of my class schedule. Depending on how many classes you take, you should always try to have one free day or an easy day where you can destress and have fun. It’s better to try spreading classes out throughout the week instead of piling them all up and having only the weekends to do homework.
Another way to handle the stress is to do something you love on those days off. For a lot of people, that means to watch Netflix and lay in bed all day. While that’s something I’m on board with, there’s also nothing being accomplished. Something I like to to do while watching Netflix is to do some easy exercising in my dorm room. Exercising can give you endorphins that make you happy, and if you add in watching your favorite TV show, it’s double the happiness. If exercising isn’t your thing, take time to read, do yoga, play a game or go to the mall. Just try to make sure that you don’t completely forgo all of the things that you did before college.
Now, all of this is better said than done. Some students are trying to graduate in three years, so it’s more difficult to have a day of or time for yourself. However, making yourself so stressed out with classes and probably a job can actually lower your performance, so making free time can have a positive impact. When I started college this year, I had six classes and two jobs. I barely slept five hours a night, I forgot to eat until 3 a.m., and things started slipping past me because I could barely remember what I was doing. This semester, I narrowed it down to five classes and one job, I sleep a lot more and have a day off to visit my grandmother or do what I need to, and my grades are exponentially improving.
Many people won’t take this advice, but I’m hoping that a few of you do and that it can eventually save you from dropping out or failing. Life’s not always great, especially in college, but it’s a lot easier to deal with when you’re not pulling your hair out or biting your nails, at least for me.