Ah, college- the pivotal time in a person’s life where young adults try to make something of themselves, while along the way make new friends and connections, expand their intellect, experience culture shock, make countless mistakes, and pretend to be full-fledged adults. Think of it as the modern Roaring Twenties.
If you are not buried in unrelenting mountains of homework, projects, and other obligations that this minimum four-year journey entails, then you are socializing, whether it is on social media, in the “private” sanctuary of your dorm room, or with a reliable group of friends.
However, many college students are plagued with what is known as “The Mid-College Crisis.” Similar to one’s mid-life crisis, the mid-college crisis is an epiphanic phase during which college students can undergo full-blown panic attacks and regret for lost opportunities. Despite the fact that these undergrads can now live the life that they want, there is a constant pressure to accomplish as many things as possible in what is supposed to be the “best four years of their lives.” Making it to the halfway point of your college education, you look back and cannot help freaking out about the “what if’s.”
If you feel this way, you are not alone. This condition affects four out of five college students.
Symptoms of “The Mid-College Crisis” include:
- An uneasy feeling of insecurity about what is ahead. At this point, you are realizing that your childhood, the time of no worries, is slipping from your grasp. People will look to you for grown-up answers to grown-up questions: What do you want to do with your degree? What do you want to be after college?
- Desire to change your major again, again, and again. You’ve declared your major so long ago in high school. Now, you suddenly hate what you spent most of your college years (and money) studying.
- Slump in drive. You used to care so much about your grades, determined to not be a statistical drop-out or failure. But now? You drift through the day, completing meaningless busy work that will probably get you nowhere. Attitude: “As long as I pass.”
- Fear of graduation. In high school, you counted down the months to the last seconds to freedom- another four years of school. In college, by your second or third year, you start to hold onto each day because when you graduate, there is no more sugar-coating, no more guidance. You are considered a full-fledged adult who is expected to do what is required of them to get that job… and pay bills.
- Sluggishness. You are tired, so tired of everything. You just want to take an indefinite vacation.
- Envious of the youngsters. When you catch a glimpse of the freshmen, those beings so full of life, you wish that you were one of them again.
- Bitterness. The most well-known symptom of the mid-college crisis is a feeling of bitterness, for you start to believe that your dreams are impractical, ridiculous, or impossible for someone like yourself to achieve.
One solution to this affliction that demoralizes millennials, the future of this great planet, is simple.
Write a specific list, a bucket list of everything that you want to accomplish during your college years. A checklist of wants is easier to accomplish than a New Year’s Resolution, so you’ll have a stronger incentive to complete before your college life is over.
College Incentive List:
- Participate in at least one campus tradition.
- Join a club or an organization.
- Try a different cuisine for a week: African, Asian, European, Oceanian, or Americas.
- Reach out and connect with those beyond your typical cliques.
- Go to at least one party. That does not mean that you are expected to go out-of-your-mind crazy. Just go to say that you did.
- Get an internship. Proof of real-life, hands on experience is crucial for a job.
- Pull an all-nighter for non-academic reasons.
- Overcome a fear you have.
- Cherish memories made by taking pictures.
- Leave a motivational note in a library book. You never know. That very note might brighten that unsuspecting person’s day.
- Create a blog. If you have a strong opinion about something and are able to ignore negative criticism, there is nothing wrong about broadcasting your thoughts online
- Maintain a close relationship with family. Fight that distance!.
- Push yourself, and find a new hobby: reading, hiking, knitting, biking, gaming, swimming, doodling, taking photos, scrap booking, blogging, making short films, dancing, learning a new language, etc.
- Engage in an actual conversation with one of your professors.
- Try your hand at karaoke.
- Go to a career fair. Remember, you are judging them as much as they are judging you.
- Finally, GRADUATE with flair!