Your college days are the best of times and the worst of times. My personal experience of college was formative and interesting but it was also stressful and difficult.
The greatest advice I can offer is that students should strive to go in as prepared as possible, pick something they are generally interested in and never compare themselves with others.
Telling someone to go at their own pace feels a bit cliché and disingenuous. However, on some level, there is truth to this advice. A better way of phrasing it would be that you should never compare yourself to others in college, not because everyone goes at their own pace but rather because everyone has their own story.
When I went to college, I became very good at looking like I knew what I was doing. What others did not see were the courses I had dropped out of or my sense of panic when I had to read something I couldn’t understand.
Everyone is going through their own troubles and some people may have more advantages than others. At its core, college is about personal growth and learning. Remember that it isn’t a competition for the top spot, no matter how others make it seem that way.
Go at your own speed and do not be ashamed if others ‘pass you out’ because the only person whose situation you are fully aware of is your own.
I met many people in my time in college and some found it easier than others. It is critical that you reach out to someone if you feel as if things are getting on top of you. Talk to someone about what’s bothering you, whether it’s your workload, your lecturer or even if you are having trouble at home.
There are always avenues to get you around these obstacles; just because college isn’t easy, doesn’t mean that you can’t avail of support. The key when looking for help is to be honest and to contact your student advisor or your students’ union, who will guide you down the most appropriate path.
Remember, you are paying to go to college and they want to make sure that you see it through. College is a holistic experience, enjoy it while you’re there and, if you find things are getting on top of you, just reach out.
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