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You can do everything right, and it might still go wrong

 Written by    October 11, 2018

I have bad dreams about not waking up in time for my 8 a.m. class. I have two alarms, just in case one doesn’t go off.  This morning, neither went off, and I woke up at 8:20.

 

I studied every day and night for a week for my psychology exam. Flashcards, reading the textbook, reading all my notes, making charts — the whole nine yards. I still didn’t get an A.

 

I’m an English major; writing papers is my thing. I know how to structure an essay and I know how to write professionally. The grade at the top of my mythology paper this week did not reflect that. Not even close.


You can do everything right, and it might still go wrong. What I mean by that is, simply, that college is hard. Some days (or weeks, or semesters) will knock you down. Sometimes your hard work doesn’t pay off like you’d want it to. Sometimes, you’ll set up unrealistic expectations of how your classes will go and how well you will do, and college is going to laugh in your face. It’s not going to hand you your goals on a silver platter.

The only thing I can draw comfort from in times like this is seeing others around me go through similar things. My friends are smart and they’re doing everything right, and I’m watching it all go wrong for them too. I know this may be less of a college lesson and more of a life lesson; but it’s one I didn’t want to learn. One that I’d much rather go through life happily without having to face.

This semester is teaching me that pushing yourself to the breaking point with unrealistic expectations isn’t healthy, and it isn’t the “recipe for success.” Sometimes, you have a lot less control over your success than you thought you did. Sometimes things just happen. Sometimes all of your alarms don’t go off. And that’s okay.

It’s easy to get tunnel vision and think that these little bumps in the road are determining your future. You’re afraid that since things haven’t been going well lately, they never will. That’s coming from your unrealistic expectations, too. Things might not be okay right now, and they might not be for a while, but what a jump to conclusions it is to say they never will be!

College is inconsistent. Life is inconsistent. But it’s better to encounter that now and learn how to roll with it to better deal with your circumstances in the future.

Personal, Stress


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