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Competing with challenges and #WINNING

Being the least Experienced
Having a double major means I have to take some classes earlier than usual to fit both degrees in my college career. I was a freshman in my Religion 321 class and the only others taking it were juniors and seniors. They already had a relationship formed with the professor, were used to the usual assignments in this area of study, and were close with and offered each other support. I was the outsider just meeting the teacher and experiencing my first major class. I have always been the "can do" person when it comes to academics, so one of the things I had to learn this semester was how to swallow my pride. I wish I would have listened to my mother when she told me it was okay to ask for help, even if I thought I understood the concept. The semester was halfway over before I asked the girl who sat next to me to help me study before our test. What I learned was other people in the class were in the same situation. They may know the professor and each other, but we each went through hardships in the class. I also learned to be completely honest with my professor and once I started, he knew what advice to offer for my present and future classes. He has since become my advisor. I would tell anyone in this situation to just be open and ask for help. It will save you an enormous amount of stress and all night studying.

Finding Good Friends
I only knew one person going into college and our classes and schedules hardy ever overlapped. Just when I found a person I could study seriously with, but also have fun with, they slipped away. One day I was texting my friend who was going to a college four hours away and she told me the secret: everyone else is just as desperate to make friends. Just because one person had not been who who I thought they were, it was no reason to be afraid and closed off. Being honest about who you are is the only way to establish true, lasting friendships. When my dad was in the military and we were constantly moving, making friends was easy. Every kid on the base knew the other would be moving sometime, so it was important to have fun with each other while you could. I applied this same principle to college, but now I have friends for life, not just a year.

About three quarters of the way through the semester I experienced something I did not expect until maybe my junior year....
Lack of Motivation to Finish
How could I be so exhausted from college in one year? I knew I had finals around the corner but none of the information I studied seemed to stick. One evening I was invited over to a friend's dorm to watch a movie and I could not bear to go. How could they be so "unfocused" around finals? This time the wisdom came from my mom. She told me sometimes you just need to take a break from whatever task you are doing, get some sleep, then go back. I was not going to accomplish anything by pushing myself past my limit. The next time my friends asked, we made runs for milkshakes, hung out, and just talked about movies. I went back to my room, got a good night's sleep, and woke up completely refreshed the next day. I am not promoting procrastination by any means; sometimes you just have to let your mind relax so it can go back to learning.