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Mental Health

So, This is What College is Supposed to Look Like?

In college, it can seem like everyone is running on empty, but still finds a way to take 18 hours, work a part-time job, serve as president of an organization and hang out with friends everyday. I applaud anyone who can do all of these things successfully, but I’ve figured out I can’t — and I felt bad about it for a while.

Genetics tests and history papers are not what make college fun. Clubs and organizations are one of the best parts of college, but they can also be extremely time-consuming. I became so invested in what was going on outside of the classroom that sitting down to study was nearly impossible. I was constantly thinking about everything else I needed to get done. On the weeks when my calendar was full, I felt accomplished, even if I was dragging myself into bed every night. There was an odd sense of fulfillment I felt when someone would say to me, “Wow, you have a lot going on.” But, I started to neglect important things.

No one wants to admit they can’t do it all, but that is one of the best things I’ve done this semester. If you love everything you’re doing (except studying for that genetics test, but unfortunately, that one’s necessary) then it can be hard to let things go or say no. At first, it felt like I was failing college because I couldn’t keep up with everyone else. But you have to learn to prioritize. Some people thrive on being so busy they barely have time for dinner. You have to figure out if that’s you or not, and if it’s not, then leave the club that brings you the least amount of joy or say no to going out with friends when you have other things you need to do.

Baylor offers so many opportunities to be involved outside of classes, but don’t overexert yourself trying to have the “perfect” college experience. Classes can be the last thing you want to think about because for the most part they’re just not very fun, but remember that you’re here to get an education. Be proud of where you are and keep putting in the work, but don’t forget to take some time for yourself. Your future self will thank you!

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but everyone’s college experience is different, and you can’t design yours based on someone else’s. So, whatever college is for you — that’s what it’s supposed to look like.

Kelsey Thomas is a junior Professional Writing and Rhetoric major at Baylor University. She was born and raised in the Rose Capital, Tyler, TX. Outside of school, she loves going to the movies, checking things off her bucket list, and organizing anything possible. She can always find comfort in rainy days spent snuggling with her pets and listening to her worship playlist.
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