Know your limits

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Column by Tyler Anderson, Opinion Editor

It is your first year on campus and you are ready to take on the world. You are prepared for your classes, nailing all your exams and revelling in your newfound freedom.

Through old friends and new classmates you have started branching out and exploring what the world has to offer. Soon you are not only enrolled in five courses with a workload that eclipses anything you had in high school, but you are also a member of four different clubs, a university ambassador and a student worker in the library.

Soon those late nights you were spending with friends at the closest all-night fast food place are spent dealing with stacks of textbooks and homework, and planning around a half-dozen social events you have committed to.

It is easy to dive headfirst into the college experience with the mindset that you will slay everything. And it is not a bad mindset to have, as confidence is key.

But remember: You need to always do what is best for you.

During my high school years, my teachers made sure to hammer into me the fact that college would be challenging, difficult and every other word they had for “hard.” But what they never talked about was paying attention to your body and really taking some time for yourself, even if only for a few hours a day.

I went into college with high expectations for myself, and it was my own overeagerness to dip my hands into a little bit of everything university life had to offer that quickly led me down a slippery slope.

An overloaded schedule begat a series of health issues which begat procrastination, and it didn’t take long for my grades to reflect just how overworked I was.

It is not as uncommon as you would think for the best and brightest of your high school class to fizzle out once they get to college.

According to a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center: “Of all students who started college in fall 2014, 72.1 percent persisted at any U.S. institution in fall 2015.” That is nearly a third of college freshmen who did not make it to their sophomore year. So chances are we all know at least one person that found the transition a bit too difficult to handle.

I have lived this reality. I began my college career in 2012, but took a long break after my second year I needed that time to sort out my priorities and focus on myself.

But that is okay. Not everyone needs to or should be expected to complete college in four consecutive years straight out of high school.

However, that is a decision that should be made before you have dug a hole too deep to climb out of. Understanding your limits is key if you are feeling overwhelmed, chances are it is time to take a step back, chill out and really focus on your priorities.

It is awfully easy to lose yourself on the way to building the perfect resume padded with every extracurricular you can manage.

Success comes with time, patience and a lot of self-care. If you can not take advice from anyone else, at least take it from someone who has been in your shoes.