Life is full of paths. Do you ever feel like you might be taking the wrong one?

If you are taking college courses like me, you know that there is constant pressure to perform. This, combined with the other stresses of life, can potentially shut a person down. Last year I found myself at college, lost and depressed. Finding a sense of purpose seemed like finding a cure to cancer. Scraping by with C’s no longer appealed to me, so I left. Just one of the many paths I could have taken.

I was searching for a purpose, as many college students across the globe are today. The path that I took may have humbled me and reinvigorated my inner-drive, but it should not be considered for everyone. The many resources available to college students, if used correctly, can greatly increase the chance of personal success. Always keep this in mind: students are resilient. With the proper resources and mental attitude, any academic challenge can be overcome.

Nowadays, obtaining a college degree is an important step towards success in any person’s professional life. Many companies will not even consider your job application unless you have at least a bachelor’s degree to go with it. That crucial degree gives your potential future employers the information that you put in the time and effort to reach your goals. Those same potential employers are now willing to pay you on average $17,500 more (Pew Research Center, 2012) a year more than you would get otherwise, something that should definitely be considered when attending college. Success is in the eye of the beholder and shouldn’t always be measured in dollar signs, but making more money can potentially help you reach your goals faster and easier.

I often struggled with finding a purpose during my first year at college. It didn’t seem as if attending classes was going to get me to my goal of one day owning my own business. Having a goal was good, but my shortsightedness and lack of effort was not going to get me there. All the tools I needed were at my disposal. A tutoring center, mental health center, office hours, and the student outreach services. Only I didn’t reach out once.

I will be the first to tell you that reaching for the lowest bar is not sustainable in a collegiate environment. Depressed and barely making a 2.0, I decided to leave and re-establish myself. Using the reset button was the biggest decision of my life thus far. Electing to move back home, get a job, and see a therapist benefited my life in a multitude of ways. Seeing the world in a new light has done great things for me so far this school year. A 3.0 GPA this quarter, an improved social life, and a positive outlook when I get out of bed in the morning.

While I humbled myself by moving back in with my parents, you do not need to leave college to transform your academic life. It may seem simple, just reaching out for the help that you know you need, but anyone in a position similar to mine knows otherwise. To anyone out there struggling with the task of obtaining that ever important college degree, let me tell you, students are some of the most resilient people I know. But the ability to work through your challenges can only be found if you reach out for help.

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