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How to Overcome College Stress and Fear of the Future

College is a stressful time filled with constant studying, tests, and assignments. It’s filled with major degree changes and worries of not graduating on time. You want to have fun but you have anxiety for your future about getting a job and entering the “real world”. You may even be scared you won’t get the job you wanted or even a job in your degree field at all. All of these things will float through your head during your time in college and these thoughts are perfectly normal because you do need to think about your future and goals because your future is very important. But worrying and stressing will only make it worse, believe me, I know. I have changed my major three times throughout my college career and now that I am a senior Interdisciplinary Studies major, I will be graduating a semester late. I want to share with you my story so you ladies can relate and feel inspired by my shortcomings. So let me backtrack..here we go.

Originally I was a nursing major and I was not accepted into the program..twice. I was devastated because I really want to be a nurse and help those in need. Because of me not being accepted, I didn’t feel good enough, I thought if I had better grades or a better GPA then I would be good enough. But at the end of the day, I still didn’t get accepted no matter how much I analyzed. I was very sad and started to think hard about my future and if I should still pursue my desired career path. I then changed my major to a double major in Sociology and English with a minor in Women and Gender Studies which is A LOT of work. I convinced myself that I enjoyed learning about the world as well as my love for writing, that I should just major in these enjoyments. But I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do with these or what job I would get. So after some time I thought hard again about my future and realized that my path is different from everyone. What was meant for me will be for me and that to be a nurse I didn’t need to get accepted into a traditional program, that I could go a different route. So I did some research and discovered that there are so many accelerated programs for Nursing where the program requires a bachelor’s degree. So I officially majored in Interdisciplinary Studies and after I graduate I will be applying to a variety of accelerated nursing programs to continue my dream. What will be for me will be for me. Just because I was not accepted into the program does not mean I am of less intelligence or of less worth. A different path was given to me and I have accepted that path as my own.

 I am excited about my future and understand that worrying will get me nowhere but if I work hard and enjoy life day by day, I will find myself in the place I need to be. And this goes for all of you too. College can be hard yet rewarding. You need to understand that nothing is set in stone and that hurdles will be thrown your way but how you handle them is what defines you, and tests your willingness to keep going and work hard. As a testament to hurdles being thrown at me, I want to challenge you to be okay with the now. I want you to still think about your future but I want you to enjoy the here and now because your life doesn’t start when you start your career, your life starts now and has been since you were born. Enjoy it. You will get to where you need to go in time. So to create a less stressful environment for yourself while keeping track of your goals and future I have a couple tips that have helped me during my journey.

Make a Plan

You need to map out a plan and set goals for yourself to achieve what you want. The best way to do this is to keep a planner or journal. These can be in any form, they can all work the same. Map out your goals for your future and what you want to accomplish. Map out how you can reach these goals and give yourself deadlines for milestones. So for example, in my planner, I have written down all accelerated nursing programs I want to attend, the GPA requirements, and which nursing exam is required. I have chosen my desired GPA by graduation and created steps to achieve my GPA by semesterly goals. I have also given myself deadlines on when to take the nursing exams as well as when I need to submit my application in its entirety to my chosen schools. This way I have a mapped out plan of how to reach my ultimate goal.

Enjoy Every Day

This is very important. We can get so caught up in worrying about our goals and the future and will forget to enjoy our life NOW. This is your life, it doesn’t begin when you start your career it starts NOW so enjoy it. Go out and find new activities to do, travel more, meet new people, read more books. Do things that make you happy and expand your mind. We are not promised tomorrow, ladies. Your life is so precious, don’t waste it scrolling on social media. You need to actually live your life and when you live your life you start to appreciate it more and when you appreciate it more you begin to enjoy it and when you enjoy it more you start to have a passion for it. Have a passion for your life ladies. You got this!

-HCXO

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