The Art of surviving College Life and beyond
The Art of Surviving College life and beyond
Life Saving Tips
We all know that yearly ritual when about 70% of the nearly 3.3 million graduating senior students begin their arduous journey from America’s public and private high schools to the thousands of colleges and universities spanning the vast terrain of the USA. To many, this transition is all too familiar and packed with sleepless nights, filling multiple applications, writing brain storming assays, going to endless college interviews, and of course spending lots of money.
The ceremonial day of graduation of America’s high school seniors doesn’t only signify an end of a long academic experience but it also means the beginning of their new journey out of the familiarity of their homes unto the unknown. The kids have grown up and like the birds of the air; chicken, geese, owls, hawks and eagles they have no option but to hop, jump, run, and fly away.
Good Bye High School, Hello College!
Beyond astounding ACT and SAT results, perfect GPA , and individual resumes and portfolios proudly displaying a frenzy of high school activities, America’s freshmen and women need , like we all do, good common sense. They need wisdom, and a strong foundation that would help them fly with wings like eagles from the security and warmth of their familiar nests unto the only-God-knows future awaiting them.
But then, not all homes are created alike. Some of our childhood homes are heavenly, warm and peaceful, while others are like hell on planet earth. Some grow up treated well, loved, nourished and nurtured, while others don’t grow up well but instead lived fending for themselves in homes akin to war zones and battle fronts.
College life is not only a wow- hooray-I’m- finally -free experience but it’s also a battle; physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual that’s interrupted by short lived moments of rest and recuperation (R&R). Some enter this battlefield ready, refreshed, and prepared, while others stumble unto its initial freshman battle zone ready to have fun and a blast but yet confused, tired, weary, and emotionally in turmoil. Yet, college life and beyond is just that; a battlefield with major grounds to win with brief moments amidst the battle for R&R.
I came to America when I was but 18 years old (many years ago), to enter the battlefields of college life in America. I still recall my dad’s words as I was about to embark on my own life journey away from the secure nest of my parents’ overseas home to America.
“Son, if a woman knocks on your door in America, don’t open it. You school must be your God.”
Dad who passed away was a kind, traditional and devout Christian. He obviously didn’t mean that I have to replace God with college education but he used a commonly used non English phrase that simply meant that as a student I better put school in the highest priority right after God and to not open the door of my life to America’s temptations,
“Son, if a woman knocks on your door in America, don’t open it…”.
I’m still puzzled as to what made dad who never stepped foot in America at the time utter those prophetic words. Of course, sending him a picture to our old country home address wearing a shiny maroon colored jacket ( I can’t believe I owned that thing), holding a guitar (which I had no idea how to play), and proudly displaying an old Michael Jackson hairdo (please don’t try that) made him wonder.
“Aal, Aal (great, great). He went to be a doctor, and now he is going to be a musician,” was dad’s spontaneous reaction.
As I found out, and as every student in college finds out sooner or later, there are always temptations in the form of someone or something knocking on the door of our hearts asking us to be let in. Successfully accomplishing the journey of our college education with healthy bodies and sound minds is dependent on the number of times we open the doors of our hearts and minds to thoughts, things, and people that should not be let in.
Making it well through college and in life, wishfully in one piece and with a strong sense of purpose and a mission, depends on how determined and resolved we’re in kicking out from our hearts and minds anyone that derails us. Finishing the race of higher education and running the race of life with a flaming sense of mission and purpose can’t be done well until we disinvite, defriend, and kick out anything that extinguishes our flame.
This blog will focus on what its title describes: The Art of Surviving College life and Beyond.
Continue to read for more ideas and insights on how to not just survive but thrive, and fly like eagles unto a bright future awaiting you, and hopefully not back to mom’s home if you don’t have to.
Advice and recommendations offered here are not meant to replace your medical provider’s individual evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. Please see your medical provider for any physical or emotional concerns.
The views expressed here are only of the author and do not represent the views of any other organization or entity.
Adel G. Hanna, M.D.
Author: Soldier to Soldier, Heart to Heart
A Doctor’s Stories from a Military Camp
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