As I’m getting close to finishing my senior year at UCA next semester, I’ve realized something. It’s not the fact that I’ve had struggles year after year, but instead, how lucky I am to have gotten to this point. People go on and on about how hard classes are, but I’ve never sat down and said, “Daniel, think to yourself about how this went.”
I barely got into the Honors College and only had one other college choice planned out for myself. Was that bad planning on my part? Probably, yes. I blame it on the fact that I didn’t want to go to a college out of state and I’m sure that’s been a part of other people’s decision-making processes too. Combine that with the fact that there were only so many options that fit what I was looking for in a college, and you get my tiny list of selections.
I still have one semester to go and I don’t know how good or bad things will go for me. I’m surprised I’ve managed to make it for this long, to be honest. It feels like there should have been some moment where I crashed and burned because I messed up or I just couldn’t get through a load of classwork.
I’ve had to work while being a college student and while trying to survive having switched degrees, which, I admit, may have stalled my progress a little bit. I had started out as a Communications major to go along with my honors minor, but I slowly realized this wasn’t the right degree for me. There’s nothing wrong with switching degrees either, for those who are reading this. Yes, college can take a lot out of someone, and it might take longer to graduate as a result depending on when you do this. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it if you want to.
I don’t know how happy I would be with college if I had stuck with my original degree choice. I’ve made a lot of friends in my journalism classes, along with finding my honors thesis advisor and establishing myself more in what I can do.
I’ve slowly but surely gotten used to the college routine, regardless of all that has happened, and I’ve realized something. In my freshman year, I let the stress get to me on a few different occasions. As I got older and went through more classes, I finally managed to take time to manage my own mental sanity. I’m not sure how bad I let things get to me in high school, but I don’t remember the last time I was able to keep myself calm at this level of my life. Mental health is no joke; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I won’t deny things are hard as a student, but I don’t think they’ve ever been easy either. College is just one of those things where you have to push through all of the obstacles, use the resources at your disposal, and make the most of what you have.
I’ve been able to do it, I’ll continue to do it, and I know others can as well.