I have two late papers, my senior capstone project has to be started by tomorrow, and there’s a big project due in two weeks that I have to completely restart.
I think that phrase sets off a wave of silent alarm bells in any college student’s mind, including my own, to be completely honest.
Since quarantine, motivation to do any school-related work has been lacking to say the least, in part, due to my own mental health deteriorating, family-related issues and a very bad internship experience. I don’t think I’m alone either.
According to the Associated Press, in 2020, 14% of American adults said that they’re very happy and 50% said that they often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks, which is the most unhappy Americans have been in nearly 50 years.
As we’re slowly coming off the pandemic, I can’t force myself to have the same motivation and drive as I have had previously, but I still try since the world doesn’t slow down, and neither does college, apparently, judging by my behemoth of a to-do list.
While I may seem like a pessimist, I would disagree and say that I’m more of a realist since I’m not completely unhappy with my situation either.
Covid-19 may have dealt me some bad cards, but I also learned a lot of valuable lessons along with it, including the most important one: school does not define who you are as a person.
I think I’ve heard that phrase a million times from parents and teachers many times over the years, but I think this was the year that I actually took it to heart.
I recently had an epiphany about my life talking to a guy on a train to Washington, D.C. He was newly graduated, had worked for the Peace Corps, lived in Alabama, and was now going to go see a concert with his friend in DC. His name was Gavin.
He asked, “So what do you do?”
I told him that I was a college senior, part of the newspaper, a choir member, film and television major, my aspiration to be in journalism and news, etc.
“Wow that’s a lot, you’re kind of a workaholic, huh?” he jokingly said.
I laughed it off since I had never really thought of it that way, but I’ve never really stopped thinking about that conversation because out of everything I wanted to be known as, a workaholic was on the bottom of that list.
I’m a picture-perfect student on paper, ready to be added to the assembly list of potential newly graduated employees that a company could hire, but I don’t really want to be that either.
I just want to be me.
I’ve let myself slack recently and that’s fine. I’ll get back up when I feel like I can.
If something didn’t go exactly to plan, I’ll figure it out eventually.
I think most of us are just doing the best we possibly can in our own unique circumstances, whatever they may be, and that’s okay.
At the end of the day, I am who I am.