I believe in Strength

Elizabeth - Chesterfield, Virginia
Entered on May 5, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in strength. And not just physical strength. I’m talking about the strength to get through the day with as much chores and responsibilities done as possible. Some of the most interesting examples are college students. They have to deal with probably the craziest schedules, going to school and working at the same time; they are new to the “outside world” and are struggling to adjust to this new way of life.

I find it fascinating to look at all that college students have to go through just to try and define who they are and what they will do for the rest of their lives. Now is the time that they have to decide what the course of their life will be. College students have the weirdest schedule. As a college student, I know. I work 4 days a week, go to school another two days, I help run errands for my family, plus pay bills, volunteer one day a week for a local hospital, and try to find time to study, do homework, or even just breathe. For most college students this is the typical calendar. However, even for myself, compared to others, my schedule is very easy; I know college students who are working full time, supporting themselves or others, and going to school full time. For that I found a way to compensate. When work is slow and I have permission from my managers, I do my internet homework and class work on the computers. This has given me a way to multi-task to keep up with the demands of bills and schoolwork at the same time, because I am unable to give up one or the other. Money is always an issue for students; tuition rates over the last few years have skyrocketed, plus all the bills that these students need to pay every month. They also have to take into account the cost of living which includes clothes, food, and other necessities.

Not only is there strength in doing the day-today tasks that life demands from us. It is also dealing with the unexpected. This could be an illness, a family loss, a job loss, or an accident. College students need to find the courage to face the curve balls that life can and will throw us. For me, it was a minor accident. I was backing out from work in my car and the door was not all the way shut. Because of that, it got caught on a pole and pushed the door forward and all the way open. I bent the door way out of shape and it cost the insurance a pretty penny. Fortunately, my family and I’s driving records were good enough to keep my rates from going up, but I still had to pay a decent size co-pay that took a good portion of my savings. That one bill took me several months to recover from. I had to learn that adjustment is one of the most important skills to learn when growing up.

It’s not just the superficial aspects of college life that wears out students. It is the emotional and mental strain on life that tells us who has the strength and who does not. For most students, this is their first time away from home, or the first time they are in charge of themselves. For most people, this is the day they look forward to for years. However, when they get there, they find it is not just all fun; that actually, it is very quite scary. No parents or guardians are there to help them when they have a problem; they have to solve them on their own. So for students, this can be attributed to shell shock. Now they have to deal with whatever life deals them, and they are not used to this. So for me, when I see students still doing well despite all of the things thrown in their path, that is what I think strength is. It not the strength to just exist it is the strength to exist and keep existing during the most important part of life, where we learn what and who we are and what we can do on our paths.