You’re a soon-to-be college student. Maybe you’ve spent the summer lounging around your home, casually sipping tea while watching Netflix. Maybe you’ve been hanging with friends, speaking a mix of happy chatter and doge. Alternatively, maybe you’ve been interning with a local business or nonprofit. Regardless, you’ve spent the last few months bracing yourself for college.
And while you’re pondering the possibilities of on-campus jobs or wondering how much damage textbooks will do to your wallet your parents’ bank account, the thought hits you: What if I’m not good enough?
What if I can’t handle the course-work? What if I can’t get internships? How will I handle failing a class? Could my disability affect my chances to achieve at some point down the road? What happens when everyone starts talking about Foucault and I don’t even know how to spell his name?
Breathe. It happens.
We worry. We are a generation with toxic levels of stress and anxiety. But we need to take consolation in the fact that our professors, mentors, and colleges as a whole do not benefit when we make mistakes. In the end, the teaching and administrative staff at our universities want what’s in our best interest.
If you need help with revising an essay, your professors will be happy to help. If you’re struggling in a class and you think you may be better off dropping it, it’s your advisor’s job to help you figure out the best course of action for you.
Just please don’t ask a question already clearly answered in the syllabus—your classmates, and your professors, will thank you.
Colleges do not get bragging rights when their students do poorly. They get bragging rights when students do well—which is why measures of student performance (including graduation rates) are factored into some college rankings.
Which means, ultimately, that nobody is banking on your failure.
College, and hopefully every day of your life, is a time for learning. It’s a time for reading The Odyssey learning how to better interact with the people around you and how you can carve out your own niche. It’s a time to capitalize on your strengths and to figure out how improve your weaknesses.
And while you may be looking at your peers and wondering how in the world one of them got a 36 on the ACT or how one of them already has stem cell research published—relax. There’s always going to be someone who’s comparing themselves to you too.
After all, we’re all human. We’re all vulnerable—even when we desperately try to hide our weaknesses from the world and from ourselves. Not only this, but we’re infallible too. Each one of us is crafted with imperfections. Inevitably, there will always be that subject, that sport, or that skill that we wish we could be stronger, better, faster at (it’s not just Kanye). However, the people that love you the most will love your perfect imperfections (just like John Legend) and accept you for who you are.
So before you start freaking out over the Econ lecture that you haven’t been to yet, take a second to realize that everyone around you is in the same boat. Make the most of it. Strike up a conversation. Join a club you have no experience in and explore your campus. Something as simple as joining a club can lead to you finding yourself in a leadership position that ends connecting you to new internship or job leads. Instead of taking this time to dread the possibility of failing, use it to wonder about the wonderful life experiences that are up ahead. Rest assured: you’re bound to meet someone on campus that speaks doge too.
“Stephen Sutton Fix – Sharing the Love.” Flickr: Creative Commons. Flickr, n.d. Web. 22 Aug 2014. <https://flic.kr/p/hsiHGJ>.