The college home stretch

The college home stretch

By Blade C. Williams

For the Write Team

CARLINVILLE (Dec. 28, 2017) – In the fall of 2014, I became a student at Blackburn College. Going into college as a freshman, I was mesmerized by the fact that I was an adult who wanted to meet new people and expanding my academic knowledge.

Did I do everything right my freshman, sophomore and junior years? Of course not. There were many bumps in the road that I had to overcome, like most college students. This time as a young adult and student in life can be difficult and confusing. For example, I was not only balancing school but a job in the work program at Blackburn, coming to terms with the realities of life and figuring out the question “Who am I and who do I want to be?” Not every student experiences this (maybe not at this time) but usually at this time students are maturing and discovering how they are viewed and how to interact in the world around them. We students learn a lot more than the academics in college, like being professional and having proper social interactions more in-depth. We are no longer kids. We can understand better and have more responsibilities to hold in our civilized society.

I’m now in my final year at Blackburn College. Senior year. The home stretch. I’ve come far to be able to experience this moment. Can I face the challenges that lie ahead? It’s like I’m on third base at a baseball game. I need to reach home base. The pitcher is winding back and the batter is up ready to swing or strike out. I can’t afford to fail and not make it. I’ve come too far.

There are some stipulations to get to the homestretch though. A student has to stay focused (as best as possible) and dedicated to learning.

Freshmen are coming to terms that they are adults and are responsible for their actions, responsible in general for themselves. It can be very difficult time but getting through it shows strength and perseverance.

Sophomore year and junior year are the hardest to get through, at least in my opinion. The academics are amplified, become more challenging and the focus is on one’s chosen field of study. A student also feels slightly closer to their goal of attaining a bachelor’s degree and graduating. Yet, in reality, it is still far away. Take these years moment by moment or else you’ll feel burnt out.  Enjoy the time. Face the fears and anxieties but also cherish the fun and good times college offers as well.

Every student should be able to manage and organize their time between academics, work, social life and personal care. Take it from someone who didn’t always time manage, the benefits from organization can be so beneficial. Soon I will be a graduate of the Blackburn Class of 2018. I’m not safe yet. What do I have to do to make it to home base though?

I see the pitcher and opposing team representing my academics and work life. I cannot fail when I’m so close to my goal.

The others on my team are my fellow classmates and social life. It’s healthy to have a social life with friends, but if they catch up to me, and I’m focused too much on hanging out or partying, I lose sight of my goal to graduate. Having a social life while in college must come in moderation or any student could result in failure.

The cheering crowds are my support systems. They keep me going in times of need.

I am my personal life. If I trip because I’m too focused on me and my personal problems, I could lose focus and get out. I must pass. I have to.

For anyone going to college preparing for the home stretch now or in the future, remember to manage your time, organize where your focus should be, don’t forget the goal of being a college student, and absolutely do your best with your academic work. Remember that as a student you have an obligation to take care of yourself as a human being as well. Be sure to take care of your health.

Everything will pay off in the end (except loans because we have to pay those off). Trust in others and trust in yourself and your abilities to continue on through the college stress.

The pitcher will wind back and pitch a wicked curve ball. The batter will smash the bat into the ball. It’ll soar overhead. Soon it’ll be time to run. But will you run? Welcome to the home stretch, seniors. There is still much more to do and we can’t afford to fail when we’ve come so far. So run.