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Breathe In, You Can Survive College

It’s the end of the fall semester and college students across the country are letting out a collective sigh of relief. I can personally say that getting through a semester of college is one of the most stress-inducing ordeals I have ever been through, and this is my third time through one. There are so many questions and worries that will no doubt be flying through anyone’s head before and during attending university. However, breathe in, you can survive college.

Before going further, it is important to note that if you are having some doubts and concerns before heading off to get some post-high-school education you are not in any way alone. According to a recent College and Career Readiness study from a non-profit youth survey organization based in San Francisco, less than half of high school students feel prepared or decided on a college future. Deciding your future career and a path to get there is a huge decision (emphasis on huge). This can all be very daunting, and I haven’t even mentioned the stress that comes from the actual college coursework once you’re in.

At this point, you are probably wondering why this article that is claiming that you can survive college is spending so much time talking about school-related stress. Here is what I have to say. The worrying that comes from getting an education is very real. I understand and experience it most every day. What I have realized as of late is that intention and the mind are powerful things.

By taking a few moments to yourself, focusing, and deciding what it is exactly you think you as an individual should get from your education you can eliminate a huge amount of stress.

You do not need to know every step of your career path today. You do not need to know exactly what degree you should get or which internships you need to be doing. Think about what your core feelings for why you are trying to go through college are. Are you here to learn new information? Make studying in your classes your primary focus. Are you here trying to figure out where to go in life? Take a break from reading those articles about which degrees will make you the most successful and interact with those around you. This can do wonders for giving focus and clarity to your mind. Are you in college with no idea why you’re here at all? That’s ok. It can be hard to not be overwhelmed by “big picture” ideas, but it can be done. Tackle each day on its own. Today may be a day to spend studying and getting dinner with a friend. Focus on that. Today may be a day to watch a TV show and stay indoors. Enjoy yourself today. There is nothing beneficial that will come from overthinking every move you might make in the future.

At the end of the day, college is not about being perfect and having exact plans and no worries. Spend your energy focusing on the good things that you encounter during your university/college experience. The bad things are most likely not as detrimental as they may seem at that moment and are definitely not worth your time. You are not alone in your worrying. Most everyone has similar concerns. Breathe in, college is not the end of the world. You’ve got this.

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Nathaniel Miranda
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Nathaniel is proudly Mexican-American. He enjoys reading everything and trying to understand how the universe works. When he's not doing that he's busy listening to music and yelling about political conflicts.

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