Life skills: Learning to cope in college

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“My grandmother just passed away.” It was a text from a friend who just entered into a new phase of life that I was all too familiar with. I knew the pain and confusion that she was about to experience. I immediately began to encourage her, understanding that my words meant almost nothing to hear at this moment.

Two days later, another friend received devastating news from her family at home. I tried to comfort her as well, hoping that something that came from my mouth would give her at least a little bit of strength to go on. 

As I have been through my own struggles, I am beginning to realize that it is a growing commonality for college students to have problems from their families at home, follow them or find them in college. 

School is hard enough without any extra worries. But it is almost as if the world decides to change as soon we enroll in college. We experience death amongst our family and friends, family heartbreak, and sometimes it may even seem like places that we left collapse upon our arrival at college. 

I cannot offer you any type of solution to your problems. I can; however, try to help you get through whatever it is that you are going through. 

I know how hard it is to remain focused when there are things going on at home. But you cannot lose sight of why you are here. I cannot stress how important it is for you to push yourself to continue through and earn your degree. 

During your academic career, you will experience some heartache, but do not let your circumstances define you. Although obstacles may arise, keep your eyes on the prize at the finish line set before you. 

It will not be easy. In fact, I am telling you that it will be hard. But it will be worth it. To be able to stand on that stage in the Greensboro Coliseum, receive your degree, knowing the adversaries that you faced. The feeling will be priceless. 

Although life happens, and you cannot escape problems that may arise amongst your family or in your home, understand that you are one person. The world may feel like it has been dumped on your shoulders, but stand tall and know that you can overcome anything that life throws at you.

-Email Laci at [email protected] and follow her on twitter @laci_ollison

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