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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I’ve had quite an interesting semester.

Academically speaking, I did well! Looks like I’m ending the semester with a 3.8. And while I was so close to finishing with a 4.0 semester, I’m still proud of myself for finishing well given my own personal circumstances. Here’s to me, and here’s to you all for finishing the semester strong, no matter how you did!

I’ll admit, I’m rather upset that I didn’t get the 4.0 semester I wanted. Had I done better on a final of mine, I would’ve gotten it. But even with the 100 on my last essay, my grade was 89.33%, which is not enough to round me up to a 90 or get the 4.0 that I worked so hard for all semester. But what’s done is done. And instead of letting it drag me and my confidence down, I thought I’d take my upset and put it towards something all of us college students can relate to, no matter what GPA you ended your semester with.

At some point during the semester, we’ve all struggled. It may have been around important exams, cramming to finish up projects, or if you’re like me, it was the entire semester. The return to in-person classes was refreshing for a lot of us while being simultaneously exhausting. And honestly, I’m surprised that I got through. This semester felt like it was never going to end. But here we are.

And I think it’s at this point now, when all the dust has settled, and there’s nothing more for me to do, that I realize all I’ve done this semester.

When we all applied for college, we knew of the academic rigor we were to face. Projects, presentations, equations, etc. Even now, as I’ve outgrown my imposter syndrome and am more confident in what I know, there are still words I have to define because I don’t know them. There are still concepts I have to remind myself of so that I don’t forget them. And those words and concepts written and underlined in a purple pen made up most of my political science notes for the semester. I’m still learning. We all are.

But what they don’t tell you about college, what few of us were able to observe or realize until we’re here, is that it’s not just academic rigor you’re facing.

For most of us at Texas A&M, we’re away from home. And unless you attend college in your hometown, this is true for other college students. It’s hard. You’re in a new town, away from family and friends at home. You can’t always see them. And you can call, you can text, you can chat for hours. But it’ll never be the same as being there with them.

With a new change in environment, the toll college puts on everyone, and the joy of going through college in a pandemic comes health problems of all kinds. I’ve had a job in itself trying to manage my recently diagnosed epilepsy alongside my college schedule. And just like any college student, my mental health ceases to exist at this point. I’ve been consistent in feeding myself, thankfully. But things that should have been meals often turned into snacking, and even now, I consider that better than nothing.

I would love to write more because there’s so much I want to say about how much more we have to handle and how our struggling isn’t just some baseless struggle for a number, but a comprisal of so many things we’re not told about. Things that aren’t talked about but that we all have to handle. How that number can never define what we do or what we’ve done. My GPA can’t tell you what I’ve been through this semester. So forgive me because there’s so much more I want to say but can’t right now.

I’m exhausted in so many ways, and I’m sure a lot of you are too.

Frankly, there are more factors I could talk about: Finances is a big one, jobs, social life, dating, etc. Some of these I can relate to, and some I can’t. The crazy thing about college is that no two people are at the same place in their journey. For all you know, the kid who comes to your 8 AM class wide-awake, ready to take notes and participate, is struggling too. We have all been there. We’re all still learning, and that’s okay.

So to everyone, whether this semester was a breeze or a continuous hell-week, whether you ended with a 4.0 or not, we all tried our damn best and made it through. Here’s to you!

Hey, I'm Alyssa! I'm an International Studies major from Laredo, TX. I spend most of my time cramming (or pretending to) in Evans Library. When I'm not doing that, I'm eating, listening to music, or watching 1 of 3 Netflix Series for the nth time.
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