I have to say that my time in college was both the best time of my life, and the worst.
When most people say that college will be the best time of your life, I feel like it conjures images of wild parties, late nights, and a general sense of carefree abandon.
At Truman, this is usually not the case. I've heard the joke about college: "Good grades, sleep, a social life--pick two." We have our own version for Truman: "Good grades, sleep, a social life--pick one." Though some people do manage to balance all three, it is certainly not an easy task.
Fortunately, my major was probably the easiest to complete, so I was able to get an average of ten hours a night (the absolute minimum sleep requirement for me to be fully functional), maintain a 3.5 GPA, and after the first couple years, I ended up with a few good friends. In that sense, things were great. Finishing my homework always caused me way more stress than absolutely necessary, and I constantly wanted to pull my hair out, but it always turned out okay, and I loved the sense of accomplishment I felt upon handing in a paper or project I knew I kicked butt on.
I can't say I ever went to any real "college parties." Sure, I had a few drinks at home or at a friend's in the short time between turning 21 and getting pregnant (3.5 months). We had parties, but they weren't parties. Unlike during high school, in college I actually knew enough people to get invited to party-parties on occasion, but it just wasn't--isn't--my thing. I'm so introverted that even attending a small slumber party with a relatively low level of activity is enough to wipe me out and lower my immune system for a week. But despite that, I enjoyed myself a lot. I loved Truman, and I loved being a student.
Except when I didn't.
My first year really sucked. The very first day of class after freshman week, I woke up at midnight in horrible pain and had to have an emergency surgery, which took me out of class for...probably a few weeks, at least. My memory of that time is really fuzzy. Of course, that really affected my grades that semester. My boyfriend also temporarily broke up with me (we're married now....heh) which also really hit me hard. Then, a week after second semester started, I got bronchitis real bad and missed most of my classes for the first half of the semester. Overall, it was not a good year.
My sophomore and junior years were better. I kicked ass in classes, and in HvZ. I held a few jobs at the same time, and I got married.
Then I got pregnant, and things seemed to go downhill from there. We were happy, of course, after the initial shock. The pregnancy itself wasn't the problem, but it created quite a few complications. We found out my husband was scheduled to go overseas halfway through my senior year, and since I couldn't go to school and take care of a baby at the same time, I had to figure out how fit in enough credit to graduate early. I eventually developed gestational diabetes, which sucked because food is my favorite thing, and eating whatever you want is supposed to be the best perk to pregnancy.
For some reason, I decided it would also be a great idea to be President of the English Honors Fraternity as well, which was, in hindsight, a terrible idea. So I was taking a butt-load of classes, being president, doing an internship, and I was pregnant.
And things did not get better when Olivia was born. She was really the icing on top of the stress-flavored cake. Not only did we have a huge problem getting her to gain weight, but at 7 weeks old we had to take her to the hospital for a sub-dermal hematoma. She was, and is, fine, but it was scary, and we're still dealing with the after-shock.
But I've mentioned before that she was worth it, and I stand by that. I love her more and more every day, if that's possible, and if I had to do things over, I would, gladly.
College was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. And I wouldn't want it any other way.