My time as a student at Ball State has been wonderful for the education, but for me, it has truly been more than a college education. It has proven to be a journey of pursuing what I am passionate about, understanding the true meaning of independence, and developing relationships that have shaped me even more into the person I am today.
If there’s anything I can say was really drilled into my head this past semester of school, it’s that each person on this earth is fighting his own battles, whether they be internal or external. We have to keep in mind, that we were all born and raised with different people through different experiences and the way we react to things root from these experiences. Additionally, every person that crosses paths with us is more than likely dealing with an issue we know nothing about. How people appear to behave or appear to look on the outside may not be a true representation of how they really feel or what they are really going through.
I bring this up because there were so many times last semester where I felt like I was going to break down from overworking myself or attempting to balance everything I had going on. This included school, sleep, student media, family, friends, and spiritual stability among other things. I was falling behind in areas of my life I hadn’t before because I had to place my focus in new areas. I began to lose faith in myself, wondering why I couldn't handle all of the work everyone else though I should be able to handle. Even the smallest addition to my pile of stress seemed like a mountain to me, but others didn't see it that way. They questioned why I "couldn't handle" a small task or "make time" for something. People started to notice I was falling short in areas I hadn’t before and so many times, I wished I could just explain myself instead of seeming like I was making up excuses. Nobody but me really understood what I was going through. I could attempt to expand upon the reasons why I felt overwhelmed by the smallest things, but that didn’t help others really understand.
Feeling this way sucked, but after some thought (and surviving the semester), it was really eye opening in the end. It made me feel guilty for all of the times I assumed someone else was “overreacting” or “making up excuses”. The reality of it is, to them, they probably weren’t overreacting. They were behaving the way they were because of a combination of a million other things I was unaware of going on in their lives. They were fighting battles I knew nothing about and I wasn’t taking them into consideration.
We all fall short. We all make mistakes. We all forget. We are all fighting our own battles. The things that lead to our shortcomings or our failures don’t really matter in the end. What matters is that we pick ourselves up when we fall down, never give up, learn from our mistakes, and cut other people some slack when they fall short because, well, let's be honest about one thing: