College Isn’t Always Glamorous and That’s Okay.

College is a magical place. There’s independence without the monotony and stress that comes with a 9-5 and real adulthood. It is this strange, exciting bubble made almost entirely of people your age, all inspired (albeit to various extents) to shape the future. College provides the unique space to expand perspectives and challenge world views, try new things, and form life-long relationships.

This view of college seems to be the dominant narrative that has been ingrained in us for our entire lives. For many privileged students growing up, school felt like a long, extensive preparation for these four years. Adults seem to carry this sentiment too, often reminiscing on their “college days” in the same nostalgic, blissful way. Once at this esteemed institution, there is constant academic and social pressure to fulfil the notion that the time spent here will be the “best four years of our lives.” It is easy to get weighed down by these grand expectations.

This idealized view of college permeates through every aspect of campus culture, most notably social media. Scrolling past edited pictures of girl squads on a night out and coffee shop candids with lattes and color coordinated notes, it is easy to become desensitized to this misleading representation. College is hard. College is stressful. College is scary and isolating. Especially now, all of the challenges associated with being a student are amplified exponentially. Nobody can escape this abnormal and relentless reality.

College can be both fun and rewarding as well as demanding– these ideas are not mutually exclusive. It is important to recognize that your college experience is going to be challenging, with stress and anxiety being valid and normal hardships. College, especially during a pandemic, can be grueling. It is okay to be overwhelmed and scared by the future. Even though, in the big picture, you got this, but sometimes you most definitely don’t and that’s okay too. When you feel alone,  don’t get the grade you wanted, or feel out of control and overwhelmed by your to-do list, take a deep breath. You are not alone. College isn’t always glamorous, and that’s ok.