The last day of summer brings so many emotions! Everyone is gearing up for classes to start at their universities and colleges. Preparing for those back to school and welcome week events with their roommates, old friends, and new friends from this new journey. Walking around campus with new backpacks, shiny planners, new pens, and the cutest outfits (even if it is the new sweats from Victoria's Secret semi annual sale). Everyone has a different story about what this new school year represents for them. For some this is their freshman year and they are experience everything for the first time. Then there's the sophomores who are just ridiculously happy to not be freshmen anymore. There are the juniors who are so stoked to be upperclassmen. Lastly there are the seniors who are so happy that this is their last year that they are going to spend the first day of classes sleeping in because they celebrated the start of senior year just a little too hard.
Now in high school those are the only options for classifications for students, but as we know college is different than high school. Some of those seniors are super seniors who are working on year 5 or 6. Some of those sophomores and juniors are transfer students from community colleges or other 4 year colleges and universities. Some of those freshmen are first time students but may have chosen a career field prior to starting college and are older students with families and job experience already. No matter your demographic everyone experiences that first week of classes the same way and the best part is for the most part everyone is really "unphased" by what classification you are and how far along you are. For any nontraditional student, that can be very calming when experiencing those first "back to school" day jitters.
I can attest to those jitters first hand. I started my undergrad journey back in 2011. I was excited about the idea of college, but already felt burnt out by the end of my first year. I was taking 18 credits every semester and was already over the idea of school by this point. I was nervous that college was over my head and I just wanted to be run off and do something creative. I pushed through my sophomore year and couldn't wait for summer to have a break. My junior year I joined a sorority and I was so excited and hoped that my sisters would help motivate me to find my love for school again. They tried, but I realized I was at a point where I didn't have confidence in myself as a student. I didn't feel like I could be a successful student and I needed a mental break. I was beating myself up so much with comparing myself to my friends and what they were doing in school. The biggest problem was I never told anyone I was struggling emotionally and mentally. I checked out and decided to take a break. I took a semester off and then ended up dropping out midway through the following semester because I realized I just wasn't ready.
When I decided to be done with school, it was during what would have been my senior year. So while I had chosen to walk away, a lot of my friends were graduating, including my two closest friends. I was so happy for them, but once all the hype died down I was feeling down again feeling like I failed my family and myself because I didn’t finish school.
That was back in 2015. Now, fall 2017, I am re-enrolled in school at a different university and I am actually excited. I am in such a different place mentally and emotionally. I have more confidence in myself now than I ever have. More importantly, I am going back to school for myself. I am not following the plans of everyone else, I am not going where other people wanted me to go, I am even back tracking a little bit to get the degree I want. When I entered college I was a psychology major but got discouraged by part of the curriculum and switched to Human Services. After praying and trusting my heart, I have chosen to pursue the Psychology degree I always wanted. I know school isn’t easy and it’s going to take a second to get back in the swing of things, but I am so excited to be doing this 100% on my own terms. I have a stronger hold on my life now and I feel in control. I feel like I am making choices for myself, based on what I want. I didn’t allow any outside influences to determine what I was going to do and it feels really good. I’m excited to see where this journey back to undergrad takes me and I am ready to tackle this next chapter of life titled, “Undergrad…the remix