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  • Writer's pictureKaitlyn Widener

Sophomore Slump

Let’s ignore the fact that I dropped off the face of the earth for the past few months and get into the reason behind this life-update post. Oh man, has sophomore year been a rough transition. To start on an uncomplicated version of what my life has been like these past few months, I moved into my first apartment, adopted a cat, and finally took the necessary steps to better my mental health.

While they sound like great things taken at face value, you would not believe the turmoil I’ve gone through navigating this stage of my life. It has been an emotionally taxing couple of months, but I’m in a much better place than I was freshman year, and I’ve come to an understanding with myself about how the rest of this school year needs to play out.

I might be skipping a few too many classes and going down the rabbit hole of why I feel like a failure because I’m struggling in my foreign language class, but I’m working through it. I’ll finish the semester with good grades, a better mindset, and healthier than I was last year. I just need to push through this rough patch, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

There are a few things that are hindering my ability to succeed, but now that I’ve realized that, I plan to take the time to allow myself the space to deal with them. However, my low mentality is beside the point. I plan to ignore my issues in this post, much like I’m doing in daily life. The less I must worry about, the better.

So, for the few things you might have missed, I turned twenty...yay! To be honest, I do not feel much different than I did at nineteen. It is an odd thing recognizing I’m no longer a teenager, a rough realization that I’m becoming a version of the person I once imagined I’d be. Still, the stress keeps growing, and adult responsibilities keep piling on. To help with the rough realization that I’m getting older, I took on an even greater responsibility…I got a kitten.

At the time, I thought it was a great idea to finally adopt the kitten I’d always dreamed of having since my cat passed a few years ago. However, the responsibility of caring for another alive being when I’m struggling to care for myself is challenging. Don’t get me wrong, I still feed her, play with her, give her much-needed attention, and devote most of my time to making her happy. It’s just that the responsibility of caring for her is something I must get used to. I love her so much, and I would never trade getting her for anything. But for those who are first-time pet parents, it’s a strange transition. She’s such a help when I’m struggling and having her there reminds me that I’m loved. Even if it’s just for the ten minutes she wants to cuddle in the morning.

Anyway, let’s back up a few steps. As I previously mentioned, I moved into my first apartment. Having my own room, bathroom, and a quick seven-minute walk to classes is great. Paying rent and living in a complex that cares more about money than tenants is not. Who knew living in a university town that cares more about enrolling students than available housing would result in not being able to renew a lease after three days of being notified about renewals? I sure didn’t, and now my roommates and I must find somewhere to live for junior year, with places selling out quicker than one would imagine. The stress I must endure keeps growing, and I’m being told I have to push through it. That college will be the best time of my life, years to look back on when I’m older.

No one told me I would have to move three times within two years and be paying for everything I need with a part-time job while doing a minimum of fifteen credit hours a semester. But, hey, I signed up for it, right? I’m mad at high school me for falling for the idea that college is a necessity. The longer I’m here, the more I want to drop out. I won’t, of course. The overachiever in me cannot fathom the idea. But a part of me still entertains the notion. Still, even with the regret I’m experiencing now, I know my hard work will pay off. It’s just cathartic to complain.

Looking past the struggles of moving in and adopting my child, there are advantages to the struggles I faced this year. I have worked so hard on myself and have gotten to the point where I can readily admit to myself I need help sometimes, and that’s okay. I’ve relied on my friends, roommates, and professors to help me succeed this semester. I have surrounded myself with people who care and want to do things to help make my life easier. I’ve even decided to start going to therapy to work through past traumas and allow myself to let go of the things that I’ve harbored in secret for so long. I would not have gotten there without the guidance I’ve received from friends I now call family.

I’m still here because a few kind souls saw my potential, and even on my worst days, reminding myself of that fact helps me push through. As always, I end this post with a message to those who may be in similar circumstances.

Life is difficult, and although I love to make light of some of the situations I am in, I will not share everything I go through with people. That does not make those struggles any less valid or any less important. I might have dark days and times where I don’t feel like I can keep going, but I don’t just continue for me. I continue for the friends I’ve met along the way, the people I’ve encouraged, those I call family, and now the little animal that relies on me to stay alive. At one point, I didn’t think I would make it to college, and now I am struggling through my third semester at university, reflecting on how far I’ve come. If I can root for myself even with the low mentality I’ve been having these past few months, know I am rooting for every individual who comes across this blog. I see your potential, and I hope you do too.

I created this blog as a space to vent, share my writing, and reflect on what my life was and what it is becoming. Despite the gaps I have taken in updating posts, I plan to start using this platform regularly. I just hope I can build the courage to share it with more people. Until the next time I remember to post, thanks for reading Life of a College Sophomore.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline


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