From One Student to Another

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By Ida Ynner Lagerqvist

Sports & Photo Editor

Welcome to a new semester as a college student. Maybe you just started your first year, or entered your last. Maybe you are somewhere in between. Regardless of who you are and what year you just started, there are some things I want to tell you.

I could list fundamental actions that can lead to academic success, like attending classes, study the syllabus, get to the classroom prepared and take notes, but I won’t. Your professors and academic advisors will have that covered. I want to give you something else, something they might forget to tell you. So again, there are some things I want you to know.

(Linnea Jonsson)

Number 1: College focuses a lot on performance, but remember, your academic achievements don’t define who you are, or what you are worth. Not understanding the lecture, doesn’t make you dumb. Not getting straight A’s doesn’t make you a failure. Don’t be too hard on yourself. People who really care about you won’t judge you based on performance.

Number 2: Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone has different starting points and different goals. As long as you do everything you are capable of and feel good about where you are going, things will be fine. Number 3: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. To admit that you need support is not a sign of weakness, rather a sign of strength. There are plenty of resources on campus like the writing center, tutoring and counseling at the Center for Healthy Living. The Center for Healthy Living is located in Post Hall and open Monday-Friday between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and the Writing Center is located in Humanities Hall, Room 223.

Number 4: Focus on the things you can control and put the other things aside. For a very long time, and I still struggle sometimes, I was obsessed with pleasing people around me. I could sit for hours with homework assignments because I thought, if they weren’t perfect, my professors would be disappointed in me. I thought I had the power to control and read people’s thoughts and feelings. I couldn’t. Every time you feel stressed or worried about something, ask yourself the question: “Can I do something about this?” or “Can I control this?” If the answer is yes, take action. If the answer is no, let it go.

Number 5: Don’t be afraid to be alone sometimes. In a world where you can be connected with others at all times, it can be valuable to spend some time alone to get to know yourself; to be able to know what you want, what you need and what you feel. Quality time with yourself is valuable for your own growth.

Number 6: Stress, worry and fear of not being or doing enough are just thoughts born inside your own head. Anxious thoughts will always appear, but don’t forget that they are just thoughts, a harmless fluffy cloud that won’t be real unless you react to them. If you manage to let the thoughts just pass, they will stay as harmless fluffy clouds.

Finally, from one student to another, remember to be nice to yourself. Take school seriously to create a good foundation for your future, but don’t forget to take care of yourself along the way. We are only human. Listen to your body and mind. Eat, sleep and spend time with people who make you happy. Create time in your schedule to do things that energize you. Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Practice thinking about yourself in a positive way. Be your best friend.

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