20something profile: Stephanie
The thing about college is that high school doesn’t fully prepare you for it. Teachers constantly tell you, “Get ready for the real world,” but it’s not until after you graduate that you realize that was nothing compared to what the real world is.
College was a long struggle for me, and sometimes it felt like I was struggling more than my own friends. I went in with a major in journalism. I then impulsively made the decision that journalism wasn’t my calling. I couldn’t deal with the deadlines. I honestly can’t work well under pressure. I become this panic attack mess, and shit hits the fan.
As a kid, I always loved staying up until 4 AM reading about notorious serial killers and what made them snap. I would pick up books about mental disorders and loved every aspect of it. I decided I wanted to be a psychologist thinking that life would be as glamorous as I read in books and saw on TV.
Everything was a breeze in the beginning. It wasn’t until my last two years finishing up my core classes that I noticed I couldn’t understand the material by reading or listening to the lecture. I would take great notes, stay up very late reading, yet nothing helped. I had to retake two classes because I was holding a full-time job while going to school full-time.
Honestly, it was hell. I hated school, and I hated my job. I came to really detest kids whose parents support them the whole way through college.
Luckily, I work for a psychologist. All I had to do was ask for help, and things became a littler clearer. I was diagnosed with ADHD by our LPA, and things made sense as to why I couldn’t focus. I didn’t take medication for it because I never knew what it was.
However, a diagnosis didn’t make things better. I felt like a failure. It felt like I was never going to finish school. Things weren’t getting any better. On top of the difficulties I had going on at school, my father was very ill, and after a year of that, he passed away. Then my dermatophagia caused another problem. School was so meaningless to me at this point.
May of the present year finally arrived and luckily, I passed by the skin of my teeth. I graduated with a B.A. of Psychology and now…I have no idea what I’m going to do…because once again, no one prepares you for this. No one tells you what to do next, and you have to figure it out on your own.
After graduating, I realized I don’t want to sit on my ass all day listening to people’s problems when I can barely handle my own. I’m now taking a break before I go to grad school, but first I have to make sure I know what I’m doing.
What I’ve learned from college is LIFE HAPPENS. You think you’ll be done within four years, and once you’re done, you’ll be working in a nice little office and be making tons of money, but truth is, no, you’re not. None of that’s going to happen because life always throws curveballs at you.
Being 20-something is hard, but it’s even harder when you’re fresh out of college and have no idea what you’re supposed to do now. Life After College 101 would be a nice little addition to college courses.