Optimism In College

Jasmine Mitchell, Staff Writer

Freshman year at FMU was probably one of the most fun yet difficult years of life. I came to Florence, nearly three hours away from my home. I was afraid. It was my first time officially being away from home and finally taking care of myself, for the most part.

Of course it took me several weeks to adjust and find my group of friends. However, once I got settled, I felt that everything was finally going well for me. I had great friends, was financially stable, was in an amazing relationship and was making awesome grades.

And then it hit me- second semester freshman year. I was struggling than I thought I would in school, money was tight, my friendship began to shift and my relationship slowly began to fall apart. Slowly but surely the depression that I’ve had for years made it way back to the surface. I tried masking my sadness around my friends because of my fear of telling people about my internal issues. But I wasn’t able to carry the weight of my depression and anxiety.

During summer break, I finally decided that I had to get help. The first thing I had to do was find someone to talk to about my problems. All it really took was a listening ear and outstretched arms to comfort me as I poured my heart out. All the pent-up anger and stress had finally been released from my body, and I felt like I could stand against anything. That, prayer and scripture from the Bible molded me into a new individual mentally and spiritually.

Towards the end freshman year, all I wanted was to go home. However, once I came back, moved into my apartment and saw my old friends, I couldn’t even imagine turning back and going home.

The biggest key is to just keep a positive attitude and mindset. Optimism is key when in college because there are so many things that can make you want to give up. The work will be hard, some friendships may not last and your wonderful relationship just may get a little rocky.

If I learned anything during the summer, it’s that a negative mind can lead to a negative life.

The years you spend in college are going to be some of the best. Get out there, be involved and stay positive. When you’ve been studying all week for that big exam on Friday, and you feel like your brain is about to pop, put down those flashcards and take a break. You’re not a slacker or a bad student if you put down the books for an hour or two and hang out with your friends or watch a little TV. Don’t put your brain into overload and cause yourself more stress than needed.

Keep your chin up, and remember tomorrow is another day. If I had stayed in that depressed state of mind, I wouldn’t be at FMU today. Keep a smile on your face, and keep pushing forward. Tomorrow is a brand new day, and all the stress you dealt with yesterday is over. Everyone has their bad days, but they don’t last. Those days won’t continue to come about unless you let them. Stay strong, stay positive, stay active during your college career and know that the next step after this is going into the real world. Enjoy these years in college while they’re still here. Keep your head up.