College semesters, much like life, have their ups and downs — academically, physically and emotionally. And it seems for some reason, that during our time here at Tech, these all seem to come at once.
I hate to break it to you, but this time — one-third of the way through the semester — tends to be one of those times. I’ve been here for over three years, so this pattern has become apparent.
There are tests, projects and meetings; for some reason every professor on the planet seems to schedule things in thirds. They all say that they try to work around it, but I suspect that may be somewhat facetious. I mean, there are only so many ways to structure a typical college class.
Luckily, my days of having classes like that are gone. But since most of you are drowning in them, I will try not to gloat about it … too much.
So how do you deal with these lows? I actually had a friend come to me in his distress recently and I’ll admit, it was tough to handle. I had no idea of how to tangibly help him. It was honestly stressful for me to hear about, let alone deal with myself.
The next day when I saw him again, he had this unfound peace. It wasn’t anything special that I did or any helpful advice that I gave, rather, I think it was just giving him the opportunity to share his struggle that allowed him to move past it with confidence.
I could see how much just having someone listen helped him. So now when I deal with tough situations — which I know I will — I’m going to heed his advice. I’m going to talk about it. And I know that if I need anyone, I can go to him.
That’s the great thing about this time of the semester — you’re not alone. You’re not the only one with four exams in a week, pulling all-nighters and worrying about your future. If you act like you are, nobody is going to want to hear about it.
But when you share your struggles, you’re not complaining and the relationship is no longer one-sided. You get help and you receive help — it’s mutual, and it’s what we all need. It’s the only way to withstand the oncoming flood.
We are social beings and it’s often when we experience stress that our need for others comes alive. So don’t suppress it, embrace it. Just don’t forget that you’re not the only one that needs it.