Natalie Rohman

A Chicago Girl Paving Inspiration

How to Tackle the Mid-College Crisis

Congratulations! You've made it a year into college. Now what? For many college sophomores, this is the time when you ask yourself, "what the hell am I doing?". It can seem pretty overwhelming for a lot of college students because this is when we start our major classes and getting into our future goals. There may be things you want to join that you didn't freshman year, plans you want to make for the next couple years, and things you need to start to make those plans happen. It might feel like a time bomb is ticking.

If you're anything like me, an ambitious "freak," I feel you. I definitely have things I want to do within the next three years of college and I can't just sit on my bed and watch the world go by while I'm afraid of taking the next steps and getting out of my comfort zone a bit. That's one part of it. 

In college, in order to be a part of things, you have to put yourself out there. I understand how it can make a lot of new college students feel a bit anxious and scared because it's a whole new scene of people that you're not used to. One of the ways I look at it is, "who cares?" The fact that no one knows your life story, makes it even more reassuring that there won't be any judgement...right? At least that's what I think. 
Whether you want to join a new club, audition for a music group, apply for a job, or anything else, you need to apply yourself and try it out. It's always worth trying, applying, and trying again. I think you'll regret it if you don't. You might even meet new people along the way. 

I don't mean to scare anyone off from trying new things—that's not the point. However, I have definitely felt like I need to start pushing some things that I want to achieve while I'm at school. It's hard for me to stay motivated and focused at times, so this year needs to change. 

Use Your Resources

One way of starting this change is by going to see your advisor. It's always a great idea to get a different perspective on things and to talk out your goals with him/her in order to start on the right track that's best for you. A lot of people do not take advantage of the great resources they have, and I would highly recommend emailing and setting up an appointment with them. My advisor, who's a rockstar behind the scenes, has given me connections to many helpful resources on campus and has helped prepared me for things I want to get done before I graduate. 

Get More Involved

Another way of tackling things is to get more involved, meeting more people, and networking. Now, not many of us have the desire or need to get more involved, and that's totally okay. I would recommend visiting your college's involvement fair and at least signing up for a couple organizations or clubs that interest you. If it didn't work out freshman year and nothing looked good, come with an open mind, find out more information, and just go to a meeting. You never know, maybe acapella was something you were destined for, or even a service institution would bring you closer to more people and the community. 

There's no harm in trying new things at college. 

I felt like last year I never stepped out and explored enough. Freshmen, though, also need time to adjust so I don't want new students to feel like they have to overload their busy schedules either. I was also figuring things out and this year I am more confident in myself about the things I truly want to be apart of. Getting too involved can set yourself up for disaster. I would rather be passionately involved in a few clubs than loosely involved in many clubs. The great thing is, if a club or organization is not for you, you are allowed to leave. Life happens and people can get over it. 

Pace Yourself

Sometimes the best way to find opportunities is to stop looking for them. Yeah. That's what I said. When you are too focused on finding extracurriculers or resume builders, you lose focus of school work and the reason you're at college—to learn and earn a degree. There are so many great opportunities at college that come when you are least expecting them to, so go with the flow

The best things come when you continue to focus on your top priorities with an open mind. Sometimes planning everything makes us expect to gain a certain goal or objective, but the reality is that we need room for change and that is totally okay. Take a deep breath, and stop thinking about what everyone else is doing. 

Not everybody's college experience is or will be the same. We all have our own ways of moving about the world, so why worry about others? Comparing your college experience to someone else's will only set you up for a more stressful year. 

Explore Your Purpose

College is here for you to explore new things and explore new things about yourself. If we all had the same exact experience at college, what fun would that be? Different intellectual minds coming together, sharing new ideas, learning various perspectives, and seeing the world in another point of view is what college, at least to me, has shown. 

Whether you are a new student, or a frantic sophomore, or even an upperclassmen, I want you to know that everything will work out just fine. If you take the steps outside of your comfort zone a bit, reach out for help, utilize resources on campus, pace yourself, and go with the flow, you will find that not everyone is trying to "beat you" or "show up" your college experience. 

Your college experience is what you make of it. 

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