Attending community college has become increasingly popular within my generation. According to Credit.com, student debt has climbed to an unimaginable $1.52 trillion dollars, therefore, leaving the average student with around $30,000 in debt. In order to bypass great financial struggle and have some time to figure myself out, I enrolled in Lone Star College. At Lone Star, I excelled academically. I performed better at Lone Star than I did at my high school; however, I still wasn’t happy. I lived at home with my mom, and while I am forever grateful to have had that opportunity, I couldn’t help but feel miles behind my peers. I always dreamed of transferring out and starting a new life for myself at a four year institution. The four year institution I fell in love with was, of course, Texas A&M University. Before transferring, I felt as if I had a huge family waiting for me in College Station.
I expected my first semester to be a breeze. My schedule was a walk in the park compared to my friends’. The first few weeks, I was on top of my game. All of my assignments were done before the due date, my apartment was spotless, and I was so enthusiastic about receiving an education at THE Texas A&M University. After years of always feeling behind everyone else, I finally felt on track. However, I began overworking myself, and just as I finally got a grip, my hand slipped. Motivation slowly started draining from my brain. I felt myself spiraling, and for the first time ever, not caring.
The not caring part was new. I excessively care about everything, almost to a fault. Throughout my life, caring is how I got by. Sure, I procrastinated through many of my classes; however, I always cared enough to get my assignments done, and done well. When life became meaningless, I grew scared. There was nothing new, no stimulation, no growth. The classes that seemed underwhelming in the beginning grew increasingly more difficult as the semester dragged on. I began putting off my work. I felt like a runner in a constant marathon. Math class especially knocked me down. I hadn’t taken a math class since my junior year of high school, and I thought that if I just studied enough then I would get an A. That was not the case. Dreading each math class, I would scribble my notes frantically hoping to ingest the knowledge being passed onto me. I would spend hours staring at math problems hoping for something inside of my brain to click. The clock was ticking. The semester was winding down to an end, and it felt as if time was moving at a million miles an hour. I started isolating myself, and some weekends, I couldn’t even get myself out of bed.
This time of my life that was supposed to bring light seemed to only bring me darkness. When I transferred, I was supposed to start a brand new life. I was going to excel academically just like before. Socially, I would be a butterfly. When nothing planned came to fruition, I was bewildered. I always thought that as long as I did my best, I would succeed. Hitting rock bottom gave me a wake-up call.
Midnight, the night before my math final, I cried outside of Evans Library while listening to James Henry Jr. ‘s “Take Me Down Easy”. Feeling like I was in a cheesy movie scene, I trudged to my car, wind scraping across my face, trying to reassure myself that this exam did not determine my worth. Loneliness and anger bubbled inside of me. Maybe my efforts were not as valiant as I thought they were. Like a vulture on a back Texas road picking at it’s meal, I picked myself apart during that walk. My self efficacy was at a new low. What I wish I knew then, was that this moment was only the climax of my plot, and the resolution was not far off. While the feeling of worthlessness seemed as though it would never cease, it did.
If you are planning on transferring, please don’t let me scare you. Transferring to TAMU was the best decision I’ve ever made. Just because my plan of success didn’t fall into my lap, doesn’t mean it was impossible. Within the last few months, I’ve built incredible relationships, started a great job, and the lingering feeling of meaninglessness is fading. While I still need to consistently work on my mental health, things are becoming easier. Transferring is not easy. No one said it would be easy, however, it is more than worth it. As spring finally approaches, I am coming into bloom. If you are still waiting for your springtime, it’s coming. I promise.