Confession time: this semester saw me hit rock bottom the hardest that I’ve ever hit it before. We’ve all had those times, haven’t we? These times are always fraught with so many emotions and thoughts, so many fears and worries that bubble to the surface.
For me, I dealt a lot with impostor syndrome, as well as a lot of disappointment this semester. If you’ve had a similar semester, it may be helpful for you to know that you aren’t alone in feeling this way.
Whether your less-than-ideal situation stemmed from academics, career disappointments, social circumstances, or mental health, it’s likely you had a lot of emotions to deal with and navigate as your semester progressed. Maybe it felt like you wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Recently, I had a conversation that changed my whole perspective on this. And even though I’m still disappointed that the semester didn’t go my way, I’m definitely feeling much better about it.
What changed? Simply, how I looked at the circumstances, and not the circumstances themselves.
Let me explain.
Let’s say that you had a situation that shook you to your very core, took away the solid parts of you and forced you to try and figure out who you actually are. Maybe it happened because for the first time ever, you failed a class. Maybe you went through the break-up of a friendship or a relationship. You felt solid, secure — and then it all seemed to go away in the blink of an eye.
Don’t worry, that’s a good thing.
If we were meant to live life in a straight line, with no struggles, from point A to B and back again, we wouldn’t be interesting. We wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves at any point. We wouldn’t learn any valuable lessons.
While the bad times can be debilitating and can threaten to keep you down, don’t let them. Life’s zig-zags ultimately allow us to discover so many different things, from how we should best cope with loss to what our passions really are.
True, for a while, we may feel like we’re stuck at ground zero, not feeling strong enough to wander out of our rooms or comfort zones. True, for a good long time, we may question if this was supposed to happen, if we could have done anything to prevent it all — but those questions will always be there to ask, and they don’t usually lead to anything productive.
Yes, your semester may have sucked, and you may still be struggling to deal with that fact. The first step, though, is to acknowledge that it’s okay that it sucked. It doesn’t reflect on you in the ways you think it does — it doesn’t mean that you failed or that you are not good enough.
Let life zig-zag when it needs to, because in the end, it means that you can only grow.
What do you think?
What did you struggle with this semester? How are you recovering from your semester, and how can we help? Let us know in the comments!