SMIRL MEETS WORLD: Coping with change

It seems as if one of the most stressful times to be a college student has arrived yet again. I feel like it wasn’t more than a month ago that I was preparing for the midterms of last semester while also trying to figure out how to create a schedule on my own for the very first time. Now, I’m struggling to finish and make it to my midterms before spring break, all while trying to figure out how to create another schedule for next semester with a new major. I’ve felt very overwhelmed these past few weeks, and the choice to change my major has made me feel as if I’m starting over and that this whole year was wasted. I also am realizing how quickly college goes by, since we’re basically five weeks of class away from the end of the year, and I still sometimes forget I’m even a college student. 

The combination of the immense amount of change in my life, the stress I feel as if I’m constantly under during projects and exams and assignments, and the way I can’t seem to be fully invested in college because it’s all going by so quickly, has led to a lot of anxiety and mixed feelings for me. I want to keep pushing through to make it to break and then make it all the way to summer, but part of me wants to stay where I am, knowing that it’s all going to be past me before I fully realize I’m even in it. 

   I seem to get this way pretty frequently. Toward the end of my senior year of high school, I realized just how quickly everything had gone by and how big the changes were going to be that were rapidly approaching. I’m already having to think about looking at law schools, when I’ll take the necessary tests, and when I’m going to visit these schools all while still doing my class work, doing my real job and making time for my family and friends so that I don’t explode from the pressure of it all. My parents and older siblings always told me that this period of life is full of more changes than almost any other time I will go through. I can’t seem to get a grasp on what I’m currently doing before I already have to start thinking about the next big decision I’m going to have to make about all the other changes that are going to come up. 

    So, for right now I’m going to focus on midterms and making it to spring break without letting myself worry too much about everything else on the horizon. College is weird and confusing and stressful and seems to be passing by faster than anything I have ever done. But it’s also exciting and interesting and allows me the time to figure out how to get to the next place in my life, which is the best part of it all for me. 

Rileigh Smirl can be contacted at [email protected]