“…it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
I hope y’all have been doing well, I have been feeling a little down lately, so naturally I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. My first last day of school is tomorrow (and I technically do not have a class to start my last first day ha ha). But since it is my last semester of my undergrad (I really have no idea if I will go to grad/med school at this point), I have been reflecting. A LOT has happened in college and during some of those moments I faced some challenges. When faced with those challenges, I of course asked for advice from various people. The advice I received was not always great, but there are 4 things (one for each year of college) I want to share with anyone who is in (or was or will be) the same position as me. I can be very loquacious, so here is the short list and I will “explain” each one after:
- You are NOT a failure because you did not receive an A.
- If things do not go as planned, just trust in God’s timing.
- Friends will come and go; family will always be there.
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
One | Un
During my second semester of freshman year, I got a B in a class that was a prerequisite for medical school. I kind of laugh at myself now because I was so worried that my chances of becoming a doctor were over due to that mishap. I know that some of you reading this will probably roll your eyes at that, but as a freshman who had 6 more semesters filled with very challenging courses, a B was a huge deal to me. I have always been hard on myself. I can thank my mom for that, because I come from a family that strives to do the best. But that is another thing I have to add to no. one; do/try not to compare yourself to others. I have already mentioned this in one of my previous personal posts, but this is something that I feel the need to keep reiterating. Social media portrays all the great moments of people’s lives, because idk about you, but I do not publicize when things is falling apart in my life. This holds true IRL as well. When exams are handed back, you might worry about so and so’s grade, but the only person you should be in competition with is the you from yesterday. The only way that you can strive to do the best YOU can, is if you fix YOUR mistakes, not Billy’s or Sally’s. One of my fave bloggers, Brighton Keller (go follow her if you aren’t already… I’m serious), once said in her IG stories that she “stays in her lane.” Even though she was not trying to make a huge emotional speech (like I am), that is one of the best ways to put what I am typing about here. Just stay in your lane and remember that any minor mistake can be fixed by simply doing better than you did yesterday, even if it is just by a smidge (thx B).
Two | Deux
I am was a planner. Of course I still plan, like I do schedule plans, because that is just how life works, but not years in advance. When I arrived in college, I thought that everything would go as I wanted… academically. I would earn my degree in biochemistry and graduate early, then go on to medical school. Of course, as you might already have guessed, that is NOT what happened. Even though I do not enjoy speaking about this, I am starting to accept that it is just a part of my story. My sophomore and junior years were just purely awful. I sunk into deep depression and trying to keep up appearances started to take a toll on my physical health. I won’t go into a full description of how depression affected me in this post, but it was bad. What made it worse was me trying to hide it from others because I kept telling myself that I was okay. I wasn’t though and I eventually had to start seeing a therapist; which helped me immensely. I know that not many people feel how I feel about therapy, but if you are dealing with mental health ailments, and you have the privilege to see someone, I would recommend it. That is all I have to say about that for now, but let me move on with no. two. Being depressed caused me to lose sight of my “goal” and school became something I no longer enjoyed, so my plans started to change. And even though a part of me still REALLY wanted to be Dr. Odhiambo, MD someday, it was as if God kept telling me that my “plan” would not go the way I wanted. I love this Bible verse even though it is kind of cliché to quote, but it holds so true to my life.
No matter how much I kept trying to plan and plan, God kept speaking to me and telling to stop worrying so much. I suffered from minor anxiety when I started seeing my therapist. It was not until I finally realized what God kept trying to tell/show me that it completely went away. I felt like I needed to fix everything, but I had no power to do so. Once I literally let go and let God, my life started to fall back into place. It was not easy and it REALLY tested my faith (it still is actually), but God didn’t let me down. I have come a LOOONG way, but I would not be here if I did not decide to place my faith in Jesus. So out of all these pieces of advice in this post, this is the one I want to stress the most. Spend time in God’s word and He will guide your path.
Three | Trois
This one is something that really hurts me to write about, but it is very necessary. I have not always had several friends, but when I got into college, I started to become friends with just about anyone. So I went from always having friends around my earlier years to now not really having too many friends in proximity. That is the hard part about college; once people graduate, they usually move away, unless you go to school in a major city. I never even thought about this during my freshman and sophomore years, which is strange, but college ends and real life begins. Once that transition occurs, you probably will not be seeing your friends too often and depending on how close y’all were in college, you might not even call/text one another daily/weekly anymore. Of course this is not the case for every friendship, but as for mine, it is. I have really started questioning my ability to choose good friends. I still have a handful of good friends that I am not able to see often, due to distance and/or busy schedules. But after being burned so many times and finding myself in similar situations, I really start to question how good of a friend I am or if I am just bad at choosing friends. For instance, I was speaking to a good friend about this a few weeks ago, but most of my friends just disappear once they enter relationships. I have been single throughout college, so I have been friends with various people who are/were in relationships. I have had friends who could hang out with both their beaus and friends separately, or together without making someone feel like they’re third-wheeling (one of my former roommates was REALLY great at this). Then I have mostly had friends who just disappear once they are in relationships. Which kind of makes sense when I look at it from a different perspective, because their partners become their best friends. But does that necessarily mean that they are not able to have other friends? I cannot relate to this at the moment, so I try not to be upset about it, but it is sucky. Mostly because my former roommate made it apparent that it is possible to have friends whilst dating. But I will stop rambling about this because my thoughts are all over the place now. All this has just taught me is that friends are really not forever unless the effort is equal. I am reaching a point where I am just accepting that some of my friends are now acquaintances. I have always tried to be the person that you can rely on no matter what and some people have taken advantage of that, so for once, I find it necessary to just let it be. I am a fixer and I absolutely hate losing friends, but…
I know for a fact that this is true, because I have had friends leave my life, only to enter back and have our friendship be stronger. But there is a clear distinction between those types of friendships and the ones where all the effort comes from one side. There are also toxic friends that you might need to say goodbye to and just pray for. Like the ones who can never be truly happy for you; that is another post for a different day though. To end no. three, I want to say that even though I am friend scarce at the moment, my family members have become my best friends. I do not have a conventional family and I always previously thought of my friends as my family, but this last year I have really began to understand how important family is. No matter what situation you might be in, they will truly always love you. And sadly, not all friends are that way.
Four | Quatre
Okay, this is the final lesson I have learned. This is a VERY lengthy post, but writing is like my 5th fave thing to do and well, this is a blog. One of the best people I have ever met told me this just last year, “[college] is a marathon, not a sprint.” I used brackets around college, because the same applies to life. I have to bring back the social media thing here. Since I started my blog, my social media usage has increased and with that comes problems for me… at times. I recently moved back home and that of course was NOT part of my previous 4-year plan. I was very adamant on being out on my own and taking care of myself and being proud of all the #adulting I could do. But since my plan was derailed and my new plan does not go several years into the future, having an apartment was not working. A part of me wishes that I had lived home during college and saved all the money I wasted on rent for something more tangible. Sure I learned a lot from living with others, but renting is such a waste if you have better options. Anywho, now that I am no longer living on my own (or with roommates rather), I feel as if I have taken 100 steps backward. I will be graduating by the end of this year and I won’t have a place on my own which is hard to accept when I see so many people my age living far away from home doing what they love. It almost makes me restless because I want to hurry and get through all of this so I can start the next part of my life journey, but that is not how it works. I honestly cannot believe I am saying this, but I am kind of sad that college is coming to an end. Even though I have encountered some difficult times during these 4 years, there were twice as many great moments. But if I had had the mentality that I have somewhat developed now, wishing I was at the next stage of my life, those moments would not have happened. If someone told me I would be where I am now my freshman year, I would be in great disbelief. I have grown so much in these last almost four years that it is kind of hard for me to accept. All in all, I will try to make the most of my final semester before I enter the real world. I am so thankful that I have a job once I graduate and I am even more thankful that I will be obtaining a degree, because not everyone is that privileged.
Thank you for reading… seriously though, if you read all this, you’re awesome and I REALLY appreciate your support.
Bisous bisous ♥