OPINION | Friendly reminder that college is weird and that’s okay

I write this article over spring break in between two presentations, an eight-page paper, a writing portfolio, three and a half jobs and a Shakespeare play.  

I wake up late and scrounge around my house looking for food that takes just long enough to make that I know it will actually keep me full, but not long enough that I have to put effort into making it. I just got a bigger water bottle so maybe, just maybe, I will stay hydrated.  

I’m an adult, a child and something in between. I pay for my food, but I need help understanding what insurance means. I send emails to professors and call my mom to ask her if I signed off properly. I know how to drive, but not where to go.  

College is a bizarre state of life. We find ourselves in between so many different paths, and every single one of them feels like it could make or break the rest of our lives. Do we pick a major we love or settle with a major we don’t hate? Is there any way any of us can ever live on our own? 

Every day, I am trying to look into the future at the same time as I try to live in the moment. I overwhelm myself not only with the vision of what the rest of my life could be, but with the present worries that one mistake now will ruin my future forever.  

I forget how young I am, and how that should be just as exciting as it is frightening. I realize how badly I need a reminder that although this stage of life feels insane, we are currently built to handle the insanity, and we will survive.  

I turn the papers in. The classes finish at the end of the semester. The paychecks come when they come, sometimes just enough to pay for the car repairs, and sometimes not enough to afford coffee. And life goes on.  

I stay up until 2 a.m. trying to finish an assignment and eat popcorn covered in maple syrup. Is that healthy? No. Will the assignment get turned in? Yes. And life goes on.  

Some of my friends are getting married, and some have never dated anybody. Some people live with their partners or roommates, and some have not yet left home. The people who pay rent worry about making it, and the people who live with their parents are itching to leave. And life goes on.  

I play weird board games with my friends past midnight and put on plays in the woods. I turn in a proposal for a production of “King Lear” performed with giant animatronic dinosaurs and get an A. I look up into the corner of the Scribe office and see a giant inflatable parrot. I look down and keep editing articles.   

College means we don’t need to know what’s going on quite yet. We just need to keep working hard and trust that the process will eventually carry us to where we are supposed to be.  

Stepping back over spring break means we all get to take a breath and briefly relish how weird life is right now. It’s never going to be this weird again, and as we grow and mature into the people we are meant to be, we will look back on this time and remember what it felt like to pull an all-nighter and still be able to run around the next day. And life will go on then, too.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.