5 Symptoms of a College Crisis

A month ago I woke up and the first thing I did was chop off most of my hair. There’s no kidding I am having an existential crisis, just as everyone else in my school is. The majority of conversations occurring during my second year of college are around having crises about life. From these, I have concluded 5 “symptoms” of a college crisis, mainly from my own experiences.


1. “I don’t know what I want in life”.

One of the many reasons for my crisis is that I have no idea what I know in my life or future. From preschool to high school my only goal in studying is to get into college, specifically, an art school. Now that I’ve completed my “life goal”, I suddenly realized that all this time not only did I forget to set an actual life goal, I have also learned that the art world is nothing like I imagined. More importantly, I am not even sure if I want to pursuit an art career if the industry is like so. Great, now what do I do?


2. Urge of transferring

From my research, I have found my school holds a 82% Freshman retention rate. After many that I’ve known drop out after freshman year mainly because of the price and personality differences from the school, when it comes to the second year even more have talked about or considered transferring. There are different reasons for everyone to have the urge to transfer, including myself. I have asked myself multiple times if fine art is something I want to practice as a professional career for the rest of my life. Despite having unrealistic dreams of becoming a studio artist, it’s impossible not to consider bills and ways to support myself after college.


3.“Experimenting” with new things

“College is a time for experimenting with new things, and finding out what you like and what you don’t”. I have heard this many, MANY times whenever I’ve expressed my anxiety about an unsure future. A first year friend expressed how they do not understand why there are so many seniors and juniors in an introduction class to a major that requires 4 years to graduate. “Well, many of us still don’t know what the F- we want, and we still don’t know when we are graduating. That’s why we are still experimenting”. 


4. Bangs, bangs bangs

I cut my bangs early last year after my professor bashed my paintings and after that I have lost count of how many people I know that have cut their bangs. After the painful process of learning about myself and growing my bangs, I started to have a crisis again. This time I cut my hair short for the first time in ten years. “Hey, I gotta do something to not be depressed, and this is is my way”.

For me, there is also a physiological component to the act. Whenever I feel like I I am losing control over life I gotta do something to change it. I changed the only thing I can still control, my hair. I wanted to be a different and brand new human. I am fully aware of how it is not problem solving and I do not recommend such coping mechanisms. At least I think I look great in short hair (I’m gonna take that back in 5 weeks).


5. I hate everything and anything

Lately, I’ve been noticing this kind of loathing towards everything in my life, from my living space to people in my life. I’ve told my therapist that, “if one or two people is driving me crazy, I can probably blame on them, but if everyone in my life is driving me crazy, there is probably something about myself I need to reflect and work on”. The thing is I am obviously unsure and not settled with the life and future I am having so much to the point I just wanted to have a different life. And from various conversations I’ve had with multiple friends, I am clearly not alone. Yet, we are still not doing anything about it, except maybe for me occasionally blindly cutting and shutting people out of my life

If to this point you are still reading, it must mean that my writing had related to you to a certain level. Well, my friend, you are not alone, but I also cannot give you any advice nor conclusion. No, I am freaking out too, but at least we can have a seat and a cup of tea to freak out together. That’s what college is for, baby...NOT.