College Midlife Crisis

That college mid-life crisis, everyone has one. If you don’t, chances are, you’ve got one coming down the road my friend. Its one of those things that, of course, are never expected, but are coincidently realized, once you wake up a few consecutive mornings and find yourself questioning just about every move you make throughout your day on campus. For most, it’ll hit them around well into sophomore year, or throughout junior year. Then of course, you have your late bloomers, who experience their temporary loss of sanity, as seniors. Regardless of when you reach the point of stopping and reevaluating your entire sense of existence in college, just remember, its ALRIGHT! This is normal folks. What wouldn’t be normal, is if you went about all 4 or more years of your college experience as a mindless drone, not stopping to reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re headed. Although, yes, this is indeed classified as a “crisis.” But, if you treat it right, chances are you’ll come out much more positive and improved, than when you were on the other side

A mid-college crisis can come in many shapes and forms, usually circling around a reflection of what you wish you could go back and change, or how all those hours of partying, procrastination and sleep, is resulting in your potentially productive life, becoming a big, wasteful mess. Meanwhile, the real world is only a few years away, waiting patiently for you to walk through the doors of reality. Now, while it is crucial to look back at what you have or have not done in your early years in college, there is absolutely no relevance in endlessly sulking away about it. As much as it’s hard to accept the notion of not being able to change the past, you simply have to not think about it so much, because it seems like the inevitable truth, that you know you will eventually come to accept. But, because doing so, this helps you look towards a more positive future.

Reflection has its place in one’s ideal motive for growth and evolution, in all aspects of life. As a freshman, you look towards exploring college’s vast world of both knowledge, along with the associated taboos, especially at a place like Rutgers. As an upperclassman, you look back at your often not- so-brilliant, efforts at exploring both these sides of college. The ill-advised decisions, negative social circles, your nonexistent priorities, etc., all have a tendency to flood your head with memories of circumstances you could’ve dealt with in a more mature way. But, there’s one other powerful thing about reflection, it allows for personal growth. Chances are, as an upperclassman, the decisions you made as a freshman, aren’t the ones you’re prone to making now. The friends you might have surrounded yourself with freshman year, may or may not be, the ones you decide to keep around now. Those nonexistent priorities you had back when the most exciting thing in school to you, was where you were going on a Friday night, definitely should not be at the top of your list now.

Accept change for what it is. Never revert back to wanting things to be the way they were in the past, simply because that’s the only way you were ever kept in your little comfort zone. Everything in life is subject to change. Everything. For example, most of your friends in college come and go. So, the person you might have a million and one Facebook pictures with, from your first few years in college, may not be the person you particularly call you best bud anymore. However, someone you didn’t even know existed in those years, may grow to be your closest friend today. All too often, kids our age yearn to relive parts of their old friendships and old memories, in an effort to experience a sense of social fulfillment that they feel they once had. But, just like a set of events in one’s life, every friendship, relationship, or person, has it’s time. While you may grow to be comfortable with a newly made friendship, your best friend on the other side, may one day, outgrow you and move on. Accept this. Keep old memories where they belong, and make room for new ones.

Especially important, is the acceptance of change as the very idea of a non-constant approach to life. This can be the answer, to your search for a solution. Change implies some form of initiative, where action is involved. The best medicine for any form of crisis, is action. Therefore, put the two ideas together and at some point in your college crisis, you’re going to realize that for things to change, its going to require some type of action on your part. You cannot carry out the same type of lifestyle and expect different results. Study harder, work smarter, and go the distance to fulfill the extra mile that you never knew existed.

Once you’re past whatever challenges you faced as a young college student, when looking back as a senior, or even years past it, you’re going to want to say that college was not only life-altering, but also, more than just the parties, late night escapades and the endless periods of procrastination. Missed opportunities, are ones that you can’t go back and grab. But, at least those that lie ahead, are ones you can be ready for. Going through a crisis, usually implies some level of losing your mind and rethinking your time at Rutgers. But, as explained, nothing in life is constant, including your worries, feelings and life status. Therefore, the problems you may face today, are not the issue you’ll deal with a year from now. Similarly, the type of way you may feel at a particular moment, most likely isn’t the way you will look at the same situation down the road. So, relax. If you’re somewhere in between your college experience, there’s still a lot of college left, meaning an abundance of opportunities for you to flourish and bring about some form of fulfillment past any crisis. Learning from the past and using it to grow and change, is at the heart of any college experience. Like Tupac Shakur once simply put it, “You grow. We all grow. We're made to grow. You either evolve, or you disappear.”