Leah’s Life Lessons, The best times: College through students’ eyes

Leah Power, Staff Writer

Around this time in the semester, we’re starting to drag behind. We’ve lost the energy we saved up over the summer and aren’t close enough to nals to feel the nal drive to pull through. The thread we’re holding onto is made up of stress, sleep deprivation, caffeine and will power. But people keep telling us this is supposed to be the best time of our lives.

We have freedom to do whatever we want and decide what we’ll make of our futures. We have everything our 13-year-old selves wanted when we were telling our parents that we couldn’t wait to move out. This is supposed to be the good life.

We can go to Cookout at 3 a.m., stay up binge-watching Net ix and eat pizza three days straight without any judgement. Yet, with all of these freedoms, why aren’t we bouncing down the halls smiling?

It’s because we’re tired. We’re dragging ourselves to Starbucks for that extra shot of espresso, trying to hide the bags under our eyes, trying to pay bills, juggling work and school and maybe having a social life. And that’s before we start thinking about student loans and ending a job with our degrees. Our degrees that, in the back of our minds, we know might just end up as a decoration in our broom closet/office where we sort mail for the man upstairs. It can get so overwhelming that we think “why bother?”

But we power through, by the grace of coffee, and when people ask how school’s going, we answer honestly that it’s hard, and we’re tired. Then they tell us to enjoy it because we’re going to miss college once we’re out. So we’re supposed to enjoy the all-nighters, group projects and drifting off in class? Well, I don’t. At a time when our futures are about as uncertain as our bank accounts, telling us we’re supposed to enjoy the very thing we loath isn’t helping us.

So what will? While college is fun, exciting and full of self-growth, it’s also hard. It’s stressful, scary and intimidating. For some college students, parents don’t pay the bills, and it can be scary to know that you have to gure out how you’re going to come up with money while keeping your GPA up. Yes, we can go to Cookout in the middle of the night, but we’ve also got to have a way to pay for that milkshake, phone bills, groceries and gas. It’s hard.

At the same time, we know how great college is. We’re aware that staying up until 3 am watching Net ix is going to be frowned upon after graduation. The days of oversized T-shirts and yoga pants will come to an end. We won’t be able to just put ahatonifwewakeuplate. Believe me, we are taking full advantage of it.

But while we do know how lucky we are, minimizing the hardships that come with college isn’t making them go away for us. It’s making us feel like toddlers who are pitching ts over nothing. The nothing being our cards being declined when buying groceries, having to call our parents to ask for money only to get a 30 minute lecture on nances and getting a paper handed back dripping with red ink when we spent hours on it. We know there will be greater problems, but for now these are our problems, and they’re as real as our student loans collecting interest. So the next time you see college students on the verge of tears, maybe offer them a cup of coffee instead of a lecture about how great college is.