My name is Caitlin Stewart. I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing. I work for a market research company, and have developed a passion for analytics. When I’m not working or studying, I love to read, craft, and cook. My blog is www.afewwordsbycaitlin.com
I think what few people realize going into college is how hard it actually is. Not all classes, of course; but most require more work than any average class in high school. It was because I lacked this knowledge in the beginning of college that I quickly became overwhelmed with the amount of time I needed to contribute to homework, studying, and working to pass my classes. But, early on, I received the best advice from my mom, and I would like to share it with all of you.
You are allowed to take things slowly.
By this, I mean you don’t need to rush through college. Here is what happened to me. Freshman at my school were advised to take five classes to start; so, I took six. And it was hard. I had countless nights filled with stress tears and frustration. So when my mom told me to slow down, I did. Second semester I signed up for five classes instead of six.
Second semester was so much easier. Just going down one class gave me so much more time to give to my other classes, and I even began to have a social life again!
My third semester of college I was able to get a job working full-time as a manager at a store at the mall. Working 40 hours a week, while maintaining good grades in five classes was even harder than my first semester of freshman year. I needed to support myself financially, so at this point, I was ready to just drop. Take time off, slow way, way down. But instead, my mom told me just to take things slowly again.
So, for semester four of college, I went down to just four classes. And when all my classes kicked into gear, I was fine. I could balance out everything, I wasn’t stressed, and I was happy.
I share this story because I want all students to know that stress is common. And there are options when you begin to feel overwhelmed in college. I am thankful that my mom reminded me that dropping down to four classes was an option.
I think the biggest mistake I could have made would have been to pause, and take a semester off. I know many people who chose to take a semester off of college for all sorts of reasons: to save money, have fun, etc. But, none of them have gone back to school. And to be honest, I don’t think they ever will.
At the time, I did become a little worried about the fact that I definitely wouldn’t be able to graduate with my bachelor’s within four years. But, not many people do anymore. According to a report by Complete College, only 19% of undergraduates complete a four-year bachelor’s degree on time. So really, there isn’t a rush.
Now, I’m in my fifth year of college. Even though I feel old sometimes, I am worry-free, and I am graduating with grades I can be proud of.