Getting through the College Hard Times

May 16, 2011

I spend a decent portion of my time speaking to inner-city youth about their options after high school. Though every group of students is different, I always get the question, “Is college hard?”

The easy answer is, “Not if you apply yourself.”

But the truth is, sometimes applying yourself just isn’t enough. Sometimes things just don’t work out. As a woman seeking higher education and a woman in society in general, there are many things — both in and out of my control — that don’t go as planned. As a person with a strong passion for success in education, I feel the need to prepare my students for the real college experience. Therefore, I stress to my students how it really is.

Things don’t always work out, classes get hard, group-mates can seem impossible, and the weather may be horrible. But rest assured, the next morning will come. When it does, you’ll need a greater sense of self and purpose to get you out of bed: more than a degree or something your mother told you to do. You will need a mission, a vision, or a bigger sense of why you’re doing this to get you through the times when things aren’t like the brochures anymore.

By gregor y (Original version available on Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

What I’m really trying to say is that every person — whether in college, the workforce, retirement, or unemployment — experiences a time when things get difficult. But what I’ve found (granted in a mere 19 years of life) is that once you take the time to decide your mission and vision, tough times are more manageable, and large setbacks become small stumbling blocks.

I encourage all of you to actually take time to sit down and organize what’s important to you and decide what you want out of life. Come up with a mission statement and focus on it as much as you can. That’s the advice I give and this, for me, makes life livable and makes it that much easier to work toward my college degree.

This post was written by National Student Advisory Council member Chanel Beebe.

AAUWguest By:   |   May 16, 2011

1 Comment

  1. Dernell says:

    I feel so much happier now that I understand all this. Thanks!

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