The Ups and Downs of College Life

Dear Reader, 

Life in college, and life in general, has it's highs and lows.  In college, these are all squeezed into shorter periods of time - sometimes all in the same day. College is a fantastic place, and I couldn't ask for a better experience than I've had at IU.  But college is the almighty transition between adolescence and adulthood, carefree and responsibility, dependence and independence - and sometimes, you'll feel as if you're in limbo.  Sometimes you'll be overwhelmed.  And the next day you'll be bored.  And the next day you'll have a great time with friends.  And the next day you'll wonder if you have any.  

FEAR NOT - you're not crazy, and you're not alone.  YOU'RE IN COLLEGE.  

I can honestly say I LOVE MY LIFE.  I love all the opportunities I have at IU - sporting events (we're on our way to banner #6), Jacobs School of Music concerts (once you're at IU this is often abbreviated to JSOM), a wide variety of people in classes and my circle of friends, a great church and more.  But about twice a semester I hit the point of absolute exhaustion and feel 1000% overwhelmed.  And you know what, it's ok.  I get stressed that I'm not doing enough to have the best resume for law school, that I'm not doing enough in classes (even the ones I love), that my 3.78 GPA is just not good enough, that I don't spend enough time with friends, that I spend too much time with friends, that maybe this whole school thing isn't actually preparing me for anything, that I feel trapped and just want to start my life already.  And so on and so forth. And this sometimes goes on for an entire week.

And then, I snap out of it.  I catch an IU basketball game with friends.  I learn something that fascinates me in a class.  I go to Lake Monroe on a beautiful spring afternoon (which will probably happen as soon as Spring Break is over), I talk with a good friend (and there are so many great people at IU!!!) and I stop and remember that God loves me just where and how I am.  And then I can breathe a bit easier.  And I can stop freaking out.  And I can actually do everything that needs done when I'm not overwhelmed by all of it.  

So whether you can sympathize with me because you're already a college student, or you're deciding which college is right for you - just know that at some point, you will find yourself stressed, tired and overwhelmed.  Stop and remind yourself that you have 4 (give or take a few) years in Bloomington.  You have a million opportunities and thousands of people to meet, learn from, laugh with, etc.  And then you'll go on to do something else.  So while college can be a stressful time, learn to slow down while you're here.  It will set you up for a world of success and peace.  Learn to take time to be by yourself - and like it.  College is fast-paced and there's always something to do ... but sometimes, the most important thing you can do is STOP!

So if you're overwhelmed, stressed or feeling burntout, know that you're not alone.  Find someone to talk to, remember all the great things you've been able to do in Bloomington or go discover some - and remember that college is not the end of your life - it's just the beginning!

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