The 12 different tabs and numerous opened files on my laptop are extremely similar to my life: a beautiful, yet scattered mess. Closing one tab, I automatically open another and seamlessly begin working on another project. As I wrote this on a typical, late Tuesday in Alden Library (what feels like my second home), I couldn't help to want to give up several times. “It’s late, it’s sweltering hot, I’m tired, I’ve studied enough.” Excuses continue to pop into my mind at a rapid-fire rate, yet my will to succeed acts as a shield to those menacing pathogens of laziness. Of course, I can’t always say this has been the case. These “late night” study sessions in high school typically ended the same way: I would’ve called it a night at 10 p.m., and go early to binge-watch Family Guy and munch on a half-empty bag of Doritos. 

However, as a college student, 10 p.m. is usually the time that I and many others even arrive at the library. To finish all my crap and walk out through those double doors before 1 a.m. is something I consider a miracle. Nonetheless, I’m not here to pray on miracles to happen; instead I’m here to work for opportunities that I must take advantage of. 

Did I outwork everybody? Did somebody outwork me? Was I efficient in today’s study session? Was spending money on that new coffee unnecessary? (P.S. the answer for that question is almost always yes). 

In my 12 weeks as an undergraduate student (yeah I know I’m an expert already), I think of college as a roller-coaster ride. No, not the fun, relaxing rides where you can enjoy a view and the stable fact of knowing nothing crazy will occur. Instead, I think of it the experience as a the Top Thrill Dragster on steroids that’s amplified with laughter, tears, and otherwise constant anxiety. You think you have it all figured out; you're slowly rising and conquering your challenges in a stable, peaceful manner and the BOOM. You unexpectedly fall, but then manage to get back up along with your fearless desires, and then once again unexpectedly go sideways with your visions and hopes. And then after all that you, you stop for a moment and everything becomes peaceful. Yet, only temporarily, along with many other things in life. 

The universal myth that once someone graduates college, they will most likely be unemployed for a year and temporarily crash at their parents basement is false. As of January 2017, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates is 2.5 percent. Meaning one out of every 40 graduates are unemployed. While yes, there is still a chance of not immediately being able to find full-time work, the outlook is overall a lot better then say during the 2008 Great Recession. College graduates were hit hard during this period, as at the time nearly 7 percent of those with a degree from a higher institution was unemployed. Why does it seem that this generation of college students and American teenagers are more stressed than ever? 

Of course, the culprits of high academic pressures and a relentless desire to succeed are always there. Yet, the issue is much more complex than that, as anxiety affects nearly 30 percent of teenagers and young adults. In this era where comparing and unrealistic expectations of perfection are ideals that are being more than ever pursued, mental health and happiness should not be sacrificed, as your life shouldn’t be either. Embrace the challenges and be willing to work harder than everybody else to achieve that dream and make it a reality. But at the same time, accept a time when you have failed, and never ever hesitate to ask somebody for help. No, it is not considered “soft” to get advice and support from others. 

It’s one of the most courageous things to do as a young adult – really.

Akash Bakshi is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Is it worth it? Let Akash know by tweeting him @akashmbakshi.

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