My third year of college has ended. Wait. WHAT?! This is insane. I feel like I was just applying for schools! At the same time, I have learned an abundant amount about myself and others. College is a time to grow as a person and I truly feel that my experience has been completely worth while. I still have two more years to go (my engineering track is five years long…*sigh*) and I will continue to learn both academically and personally, but I want to share the 3 things college has taught me in the last 3 years.
1. Learning I suffer from depression and anxiety is NOT a bad thing.
During the spring semester of my freshman year, I started to lose all ambition to interact with people socially. School had officially taken over my life and I was drowning in the pressure to be the best. With this huge weight I put on myself, I only found comfort in my home with my parents, away from my college campus and my dorm. There were many days I spent crying for no reason and sometimes didn’t even want to go to class. Although, I always made myself attend class because my anxiety and depression stemmed from not succeeding, so not going would just make me feel worse.
Eventually, I saw a doctor, who put me on depression medications and saw a counselor to discuss my problems. Both of which helped an amount I never thought was possible. People think of depression meds and seeing a “shrink” as such negative ideas. However, if you need the help, there’s no running from your problems; they’ll just get worse. I still see my counselor about once a month, even if I don’t feel as if I have any issues in my life at that moment. I love talking to someone who has an outside perspective on my life and is able to give me unbiased advice that my mom or friends might not think of. Seriously, even if you don’t suffer from depression, you will still benefit from seeing a counselor. He or she can give you such great advice on how to live a better life!!
Since learning that I have depression, my main goal in life now is to reach out to others and let them know they are not alone. It may feel like you’re alone when no one else in your life feels the same way you do, but there is always someone you can talk to and is willing to help (that person could most definitely be me if you would like to talk (: ).
2. Aim For Progress, Not Perfection
I’m Type A. Except for my room (mom don’t laugh), everything in my life must be in order. Whether it be seeing results from working out, or getting an A in a class, I have always pushed myself to be the best. But about a year ago I realized this is a very unhealthy way to live. Not everything in life is going to be perfect, and if you believe it will be, you will become very disappointed.
I learned that in order to live a balanced life, I need to strive for progress and not perfection. As long as I see myself becoming better at something, I am proud of myself. Yes, I still wish that I could have gotten an A in a certain class, but my life has still gone on, I’m still alive, and I will still land a job when I graduate.
3. Friends Come and Go
As sad as this sounds, it is true. Not just in college, but in high school and middle school as well, I have been friends with someone and we end up going separate ways for one reason or another. As we grow, the people around us grow too; but we don’t always grow together. This does not mean you are a bad person or they are bad people. It just means that people change. Luckily I have been able to hang on to a couple long- term friends and know that since we have gone through so much, we will be friends for life. Although I may not see them often, I do love hanging out and catching up, such as when I talked about hanging out with my best friend on a Friday night.
Although you may not be friends with someone anymore, do not ever regret that relationship. Everyone is in your life for a reason and I guarantee you have learned something from them along the way. I have also learned through college that family will always be there for you and are your best friends no matter what.
What important lessons have you learned throughout college or your life in general?