College Isn’t As Hard As You Think It is

emily_stevens_1As a high school student all I heard about was how tough college would be and how all the work we were given was to prepare us for the even greater workload to come. Now that I’ve been in college for a little over two months I can attest to the fact that yes, my classes are challenging, but by no means are they unmanageable. So far I haven’t pulled any all-nighters; in fact, I haven’t stayed up past midnight doing work once. I’m taking Introduction to Biology, Calculus, Spanish, and a required tutorial class that introduces first years to college reading and writing called Constructions of Childhood. It’s not the most difficult schedule but not a walk in the park either. My advice is to work effectively.

Your room is your sanctuary. Keep it a positive space associated with sleep or socializing. Most schools offer abundant study spaces and you’re sure to find the perfect one for you after a little searching. Also, know yourself. Few people I know actually study better with company. It can be tempting to study in a friends dorm but if you’re like me, you’ll probably get more done off on your own somewhere away from distractions. This way you can be more productive in a shorter amount of time.

What I didn’t expect coming to college was truly what a social experience it is. Especially at a small liberal arts school, it feels as if you spend around 90% of your time with or around people. Between roommates, eating with friends, group projects, and general hanging out with people, there’s hardly any downtime left for just you. Working out or going on a coffee run can be great solo activities to relieve stress and get you of your head. Sometimes a night in with Netflix is what you need to get away from the bubble life that can consume college students.

Alternately, don’t worry about silly things. If you don’t know where the party is on a Saturday night or weren’t invited – you’re not a social failure, if you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend – you’re not gross, if you don’t have a million friends – you’re not unlikeable. You’re doing just fine.

Emily Stevens, Quest Scholar, Grinnell ’19