4 Times in College When You Could Really Use Some Perspective

By: Marisa Borreggine

Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, University of Washington

When you fail.

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Everyone. Repeat that word aloud. E V E R Y O N E. Has failed a test, a paper, missed an assignment, taken that blow. Think about your high school valedictorian (and if that’s you, think of the salutatorian). Imagine them sitting in their dorm, looking at the big fat F they just received. I can almost guarantee you that they have been there. Now think about the faith you and your school put in that person—you don’t worry about them. You won’t be surprised when you see them at the high school reunion and they’ve got it all figured out. Guess what? They got an F once, too! And they lived. You will too. Perspective.

When you are too tired to go out.

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There’s this weird feeling throughout college, or at least your freshman year, that every time you go out it’s going to be the best night of your life. Maybe it’s all the pop songs telling us to stay up all night, drink until we’re perfect, live our dreams, but this sentiment stays with me going into my third year of college. I’m not saying you need to dull your expectations, there’s nothing wrong with getting excited about going out. What’s wrong is when you think it’s the only way to have a good time with your friends (for more info, check out party alternatives). Have some perspective—you’re going to love yourself in the morning if you stay in, read your book you’ve been wanting to make progress on, and wake up sans hangover. There’s no shame in sleeping in.

When you’re walking into a huge final.

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This is some advice I need to take on my own sometimes. When I’m walking into a final with a friend from my major and she and I just want to succumb to the stress, I always try to open up the same dialogue. I always say something along the line of, think about it. We’re walking into a room to write down some stuff we’ve practiced and memorized and no matter what the score is, we come out having learned something. No matter the score, we’re always going to recover if this is something important to us. Perspective, people!

When you’re graduating school.

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Oh my god. The kicker. Likely you’re nowhere near thinking about this yet, but if high school taught us anything it’s that graduation creeps up on you. These years are simultaneously the longest and fastest time of your life, and when you’re sitting in thousands of dollars of loans you’ll be wondering what just happened for those four years. Well, perspective is a great thing to keep in your pocket. Guess what, friend? Everyone else is in your boat. I’m in your boat. I’m drowning in said boat, actually. What am I going to do? How do I apply my skills? How do I go out and really be on my actual own as a full-time real adult? How do I respond to wedding invites?? What is happening? Yeah, the boat just got weighed down a bit. My bad. If anything makes normal human beings feel more comfortable about their supremely isolating situations, it’s knowing there’s tons of other isolated people out there going through the same muck. There’s tons of people who came out of the muck and are living their lives, and they kind of just ended up there. Yeah, my job took a lot of emailing and braving it through meetings where I had NO idea what anyone was saying, but my persistence was rewarded and I went from a babbling freshman to a published author in months. MONTHS, people! I am as shocked as you are. You’ll also be shocked to know that I am in massive amounts of debt and have 0.0 clue what I am going to do when I graduate next year. That’s okay. You’re not alone. Perspective.

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