When I was a kid, I always fantasized about what it would be like when I got older. My parents constantly reminded me that I shouldn’t be in a rush to grow up but I would brush them off because what did parents know?
Little did I know, they were telling the truth.
If the last few weeks of the semester have taught me anything, it’s that although I’ve been raised to be independent, being independent can be exhausting. Out of the million and one things on my list of things that I have to do on a weekly basis, the top five category is occupied by: two part-time jobs, six classes with massive demands, running my own blog, trying to self-publish my first novel … for the last three years, and writing for the school paper. It may sound like I’m bragging but I’m really not, no matter how together my life seems. To be blunt, I’m tired dammit!
Now, did you sense that there was something missing from my list? A social life maybe? With life being all work and very little play, my head is constantly spinning but the endgame is what helps me get out of bed every morning.
The fact that I’m going to be walking across the stage next May inspires my inner hustler to keep going. Yes, my classwork load alone is enough to have any normal college student pulling their hair out but as I’ve proven time and time again, I’m no normal college student.
I’ll admit that my first semester at Mercy was definitely a wake-up call. I had failed my first class and was still trying to get used to the idea of being away from home for the first time. My GPA had tanked and I had a very real conversation with myself in the mirror one day.
I said, “Chelsea, you know that you’re better than this. Get your head in the game before you end up back home at a community college.”
I have absolutely nothing against people who decide to attend a community college. I just knew that with my potential and my drive, I needed to be at 4-year school away from home (Sorry mom and dad…) It was time for me to put on my big girl panties and push through. As the years progressed, I gained my footing in my major but of course life happens.
By the time I was a junior, I was working three jobs all the while taking classes full-time and it was driving me crazy. I didn’t have a life outside of my jobs or my classes and it started to take a toll on my mental health. All everyone ever saw from the outside looking in was that I seemed to be holding everything together but no one ever bothered to ask me if I was actually okay. The pressure that was coming from all directions was causing the walls to close in at a pace that I couldn’t even control.
Surprising, right? The girl who had her life together couldn’t handle the pressure.
Even now, I have come to realize that I need to pace myself or else I would spin out of control. I’ll admit, I have fallen asleep in class, pulled all nighters, and wanted to cry/rip my hair out at the root. But nevertheless, I persisted because I see the light at end of the tunnel. I’ve busted my butt all of these years because that’s who I was conditioned to be, independent.
Being independent doesn’t mean that I won’t ask for help from anyone. It simply means that I carry a lot on my shoulders that most would never dream of and still pull it off. Not to say that I reached this feat effortlessly but I still get things done because that’s what bosses do. Mama didn’t raise a quitter! So I work my two jobs and attend all six classes, putting my best foot forward and just embrace the fact that it’s grind time.
In the words of Maya Angelou, “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”