Stanford is more than a dream come true. I’m happier than I ever imagined I could be, and being there surrounded by so many wonderful, brilliant people has really helped me start to figure out ~what matters to me and why~ on an interpersonal and academic scale. Yes, that’s a supplement joke. I’m so sorry, it’s 2:18am.
My first quarter went significantly better than I expected, tbh. Everyone was trying to boost morale, preparing us for the ~harsh reality of college grades~ etc. and I legitimately thought I would struggle. And I made peace with that. But then I didn’t struggle, not on a large scale. I had a few periods of academic nonfunction due to totally non-academic situations (wink wink nudge nudge) but other than that it was smooth sailing. Yes, there was a lot of work, and yes, I had to spend a lot of time on said work, but that was okay, because that’s why I went to college in the first place. I took classes whose material I genuinely enjoyed absorbing (despite some subpar lecturers…), whether that involved reading 100+ pages of pseudophilosophical neuromechanical bullshit in one night or hours upon hours of trial-and-error just to break a paragraph of some mystery code.
Looking back, I wish I’d spent more time reading said pseudophilosophical neuromechanical bullshit before the assignments were due, but that’s about it. I had a wonderful first quarter and I can’t wait for the next one to begin.
College has actually brought my stress way, way down. I think it’s partially the campus tbh but also partially what I’ve chosen to do with my time. It no longer feels as if I’m working to ~get somewhere~; I’m already there. Mama we made it, etc. Yes, I plan on going to grad school and getting even more educated, but my years as a Stanford undergrad aren’t a tool for getting me there. They’re their own thing. That was three homophones in a row jfc
But yeah, my stress has gone way down. I’m in zen mode about 88% of the time. If I ever start getting stressed, I know how to cope, and I make time to do so instead of trying to push through it.
I used to be that same way. Trust me. It’s all about having experiences that help you figure out 1) what EXACTLY is getting you stressed and 2) how EXACTLY to combat that. This whole thing’s very precise, see, and honestly nobody has it fully figured out in high school. I thought I did for a bit, but coming to Stanford has made me realize how much farther I had to come.
If you have any specific questions or want my own personal tips on getting to and staying in zen mode during school, feel free to ask. If not, best of luck, and I hope this has helped!