Double Degrees and Collegiate Exhaustion

I’ve been drinking so much coffee these past couple weeks that I’ve begun to get heart palpitations.I swear I’m losing my mind. In the worst way, I’ve been so stressed that I’ve actually been making myself ill. And its almost shameful to admit. I’ve been forgetting things more rapidly than I should, and losing my train of thought in the middle of my sentence, and forcing myself through the day with copious amounts of coffee is beginning to make my head spin.

Like many others, my pre-University college impressions were largely shaped by the schema of cinematic and entertainment based portrayals of it.

I thought that I was going to end up somewhere where the sun consumed the sky and the campus was over-crowded with sun-kissed hotties and the warm waves crashed onto golden sand outside the gigantic window of my massive room which housed a queen-sized bed. In the times when I wasn’t hanging around in the beautiful sun, I would be in the library with my glasses prettily strewn across the bridge of my nose and my focus deeply rooted into whatever I was reading while attractive men knocked down book shelves to get to me. I pictured a world where class time and social time were hand in hand, and yet there always seemed to be more time for the latter.

My first semester of college has all but completely smashed every aspect of this portrait.

I somehow thought that I would play the role of Paige Morgan from The Prince & Me while the rest of the world played the part of the unfortunate souls in 22 Jump Street – no walks of shame for this princess.

Turns out college, much like life, is nothing like the movies.

College is more difficult than I ever imagined. It strains me in aspects of my life that were previously completely unknown to me. It leads to long nights full of tear stained pillows and tightened chests. It is the birthing ground for unrest. It is one of the hardest things that I have ever done.

For so many years it feels like everyone has been so quick to tell me that college would be amongst my greatest joys. One of the biggest highlights in the reel of my life – why then does it feel so much like I’m a fish trying to fly? I haven’t slept in what feels like weeks, and at this rate, sleep seems like a forgone luxury – I’ve got to pay my four years before I am able to reap the benefits of that sweet pleasure again.

College, much like adolescent life, is an awkward half-way between adulthood and prepubescence (Well, maybe not the latter because I’m hoping that my cohorts have already enjoyed the benefits that puberty has to offer), and I find myself in what feels like a perpetual stream of awkwardness as I navigate the waters of pre-adulthood life.

This thing called life – yeah, it’s not easy. Not in any way.

For months I’ve been working my tail off, desperately trying to stay afloat in a world that seems so determined to swallow me whole. I find that in the collegiate realm I have trouble finding the time to just simply breathe. It’s an interesting phenomena – the suffocation of an institution, in all honesty, I’m still gasping for air, and I feel like I’ve got so many more months and years full of collapsed lungs.

However exhausting it all is, there have recently been some huge developments in my own screenplay:

I’ve decided to pursue a double degree!

This was a big decision. It means that I’m adding about thirty more credits to my course load, and in order to complete all of the requirements I have to complete 150 credits total. Nonetheless, I’m incredibly stoked. This means that I am officially part of four different colleges with all of my majors, minors, and specializations considered – needless to say, the advising appointments have been long. I certify for my first degree this spring and in the next year I will be able to certify for my second.

My advisor told me that I’m ahead of the curve considering planning, and it’s been great. When I graduate the aim is to have a BA in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism and Media Production, a BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing, a certificate from the Honors college, and a minor in Comparative Ethnic Studies. It’s a full course load, and a little overwhelming to think that all of it will be completed in four years, but I could not be more stoked to pursue each of these different passions of mine.

Which leads me to my next thought!

I will be studying abroad!

During the Fall of my Junior year I will be studying abroad in Aberystwyth University in Wales!!! Yoo-hoo! The road ahead is paved with countless applications and long nights, but I am excited to spend a semester abroad since it’s been a long time dream of mine to study English abroad.

Amidst the stress of finding a place to live next year, the preparation for my summer mission trip, and my working toward certification, everything feels like a mess. But, the exhaustion and planning are finally beginning to lead to a plan.

Just yesterday my friend Garrett turned to me and told me that he thinks that we are “slowly figuring out this whole college thing,” and in the moment I wasn’t sure, but the more that I thought about it, the more I begin to recognize my wings.

j-me-cu

“Sometimes when it feels like things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place.”

Photo courtesy of my friend Jacqueline.

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