I have trouble with transitions, thus the beginning of each year/term is always hard. As you grow older the transitions may become easier as you get to know the college and learn what to expect. However, there will always be ups and downs, bumps in the road.
For me, the beginning of sophomore year proved a very difficult transition. There were many challenges I had to face. These challenges centered on my disabilities. For example, the dosage and type of medication I was taking for my ADHD was off. In the process of figuring out how to change my medication for the better, it became harder for me to focus. The change in medication also made me extremely tired. My anxiety was also making it harder to learn and focus on classes. I was focusing more on my worries than anything else…focusing on them so much that I became paralyzed in a sense. I was also possibly dealing with a little bit of depression. I was faced with the question: What to do?
I had to turn to my resources that at the time were mostly my parents and friends. Instead of holding in everything that was troubling me or trying to deal with my difficulties on my own, I found coping strategies that were appropriate for me at the time. I talked to my friends about what was going on and found the support from them very helpful. My parents also were very helpful with organization, which is something that is very hard for me…especially because I was not on the right ADHD medication.
I also went to the disabilities coordinator and told her some of the things that were going on so we could better decide how I would go about completing the term. This meant communicating with my teachers. In my effort to decrease the number of things that were making me anxious I decided to drop painting.
This is actually a common experience that many college students face. Having to drop a class does not mean that you are stupid. It just means that you are doing the best you can to make it possible for you to learn. In my case this meant limiting the number of my classes. The painting teacher was very supportive; she even offered to come up with a plan with me to make class more manageable. In other circumstances this would have been an ideal solution.
Frankly, if I hadn’t felt comfortable talking to people and using my resources I probably would not have finished the first term of sophomore year. But here I am, past finals, with a B average; ready to start the next stage of sophomore year.
I have done a lot of reflecting on the past year. Like most people, I made some mistakes and faced some challenges or bumps. Now I have a chance to learn from them so I don’t face the same bumps in the future or am better prepared for them. It was a good learning opportunity to figure out what exactly I need to succeed in school. From these experiences I learned that even though I face more challenges than other people, this is nothing to hide. Sharing your supposed weaknesses will help you find out how to be stronger.
About the Author
Claire is a freshman at a small liberal arts college. Through her blog, she shares her experiences in choosing a college and navigating her first year. Do you have a question for Claire? Send her your comments or questions below!
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