Battling the October Blues

The first couple of weeks of college were thoroughly riveting.

As a freshman, I had no idea what to expect from my SLU experience upon arrival, but after only a few days, I was head over heels in love with college. My friends are fantastic, my classes are engaging, and the organizations I’m involved in align perfectly with my passions. How could I not be obsessed?

But sometime after the glitz of Welcome Week and the glamour of sorority recruitment, somewhere inside the calendar capsules of October, I started to feel a little less gusto for my new life as a college student.

Midterms on the rise meant essays to write and tests to cram for. Everyone is stressed, over-caffeinated, and, upon occasion, a little grumpy. Parties are fewer and further between and crying in the library is more of an everyday event.

I know I’m not the only one who’s noticed this.

Welcome, ladies (and gentlemen), to the October Blues.

It can be pretty discouraging when the initial high of independence wears off and you’re left with a whole lot of work and not enough hours in the day to get it all done. You can start to feel as if the excitement of the year was merely a mirage, and the rest of the year is going to feel this insanely busy, this immensely tiring.

Suddenly, life feels like a big game of "Survivor," where getting through to the next week is the only constant.

It’s an exhausting way to live, and I can say with certainty that you and I aren’t the only ones feeling worn out.

My best advice (and I admit, I’m learning right alongside you) is to remember that real life can and will be fun again. That overwhelming feeling of exhilaration is not lost forever in the margins of midterm papers.

In fact, that excitement can be found in the very assignments you’re abhorring right now.

Think back to where you were a few years ago, when you first visited campus and started to slave over your college applications. Think of what you would have given to be guaranteed what you have right now. The opportunity to learn at a higher level is one that you’re paying a lot for and one that your former self was absolutely lusting over.

Remember how much you once wanted to be exactly where you are right now. Even in the hustle and bustle, gratefulness and joy can be found, if only you begin to intentionally look for it.

The best way to beat the October Blues might just be to let yourself feel them.

It’s all part of the college experience that we’re so fortunate to have.