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Entering the Real World: Part VI

Patience is key

For the final segment in my “Real World” series, I want to focus on how big a part patience can play in your life. It’s crucial that you be patient with life, with others, and of course, with yourself. In the past year or so, I was constantly negative over the fact that I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be. I’m not graduating until this December, and even then, I am not moving out of my college town until my boyfriend graduates. We are hoping to move in together once he goes off to graduate school, but all of this is a long way away. In the past, my mindset revolved around not being able to live with my boyfriend while also continuing to struggle with school. A hard lesson I had to learn was that I need to be patient with life.

Life can throw a multitude of surprises, both wonderful and awful, at you at the most unexpected times. That being said, we tend to feel uneasy when things are running smoothly. We have this small voice in the back of our minds telling us “things are too calm, something must be wrong” or “something bad is bound to happen soon”. This is where patience can really help your mental health! A lot of my past anxiety and negativity stemmed from me wanted to fast forward my life even though nothing bad was happening in the present. I had to take a second and realize how good things were in the moment, which can be hard to do sometimes. I’d recommend keeping a mental list of all of the good things you have in order to remind yourself that a calm and steady life is not bad.

Having patience for others is a whole other ballgame. In these cases, I believe there can be some give and take. You should always have patience for those in your inner circle or support system, but sometimes it’s important to remember to take care of yourself first. I have learned first-hand that people in your life can take advantage of your patience, some more than others. It can be mentally and emotionally draining to wait for others to listen and take your advice. A part of growing up is understanding who is worth your time and who isn’t. It’s definitely not easy to cut people out of your life, but you have to help yourself first. I’ve had a friend in the past that was testing my patience for months. It was such a toxic situation that it ended up affecting my relationship and overall mental health. I had to eventually cut off that friendship because she would never listen to me or understand that I was trying to help her. I know every single person encounters a handful of toxic people in their life, so remember to help yourself first.

Speaking of helping yourself first, be patient with yourself! Mental health can be a constant battle, especially as younger people entering college and the workforce. It is 100% okay to take time to process your thoughts and emotions, even if that means separating yourself from others for a short amount of time. The strongest people in your inner circle should be able to understand, and give you the space you need. Don’t be afraid to explore your options as far as getting professional help either. My university offers free counseling services for a limited amount of visits each semester, which has been perfect for both my mental health and for my wallet! Services like these can teach you valuable tools that can assist you in various scenarios later on in life.

As this article concludes my series, I want you to remember that you are not alone. You can always find comfort in the fact that there are always others who have gone through what you have. This is why whenever I have a problem or issue, I search the internet for other experiences similar to mine in order to find a solution. It makes me feel a little more normal every time I see someone talk about their experience and how it’s a common occurrence in life. There will always be articles like mine that are here for you to reference when you need a little guidance.

I hope this series has provided at least the smallest sense of comfort in your journey into adulthood!

I am a senior at SFASU, graduating in December 2021 with a bachelors in Animal Science. I want to be a Zookeeper when I get out of school because I have always had a passion for exotic animals. My favorite hobbies include painting and reading!
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