College can be difficult; trying to juggle higher education, a job, extracurriculars, friends, family and time for yourself seems impossible at times. Parents and other adults who have gone to college often offer advice, but the scene has changed. Those currently in college and those who have recently graduated are the only ones who know what going to college in the middle of a pandemic is like and how taxing it can be. Here’s advice from college students to other college students.
One of the worst feelings is realizing that you don’t like your major as much as you thought you would. Do the research and find out what interests you and don’t be afraid to change your major. At the end of the day you are going to be much happier studying and doing something you love as opposed to forcing yourself to just finish school.
“If you find out at any point that you don’t like your major, change it,” said Kaleb Blankenship, a junior nutrition, health and wellness major. “It would be a lot harder and less satisfying come graduation day if you have a degree in an area that you don’t want to work in.”
Studying is important, but friendships and fun memories will be remembered far longer than the grade you got on that midterm. Find a good balance between everything you want to do when you’re in college.
“Grades are not everything,” said Gentry Prince, a sophomore general studies major. “Remember that college is more than just a lot of school work.”
This is the time in your life where you have the opportunity to choose what you want and what makes you happy. Practice good habits that you desire to continue so when you graduate you have good routines and habits that aren’t just studying for the next quiz or exam. It’s also OK to give yourself a break and take some time for yourself if you feel as if you need it.
“I would tell my younger self that it’s okay to take a gap year,” said Teresa Gomez, a former NIU student.
Any degree you are working toward right now is not going to be easy to get. There’s also no race to get that degree. Life is short, but it’s not so short that you can’t take a year off to re-evaluate or re-adjust your thinking. The degree will be waiting for you no matter how long it takes you to get it. Although it is considered a four year degree, only 56% of students graduate within the first six years of attending college, according to Franklin University.
You are not a failure if you need to take a break, you are just human.