Round Up Lifestyle: A letter for the anxious college student


Shane Buchanan

Staff writer, Lauren Roman addresses student anxiety and chasing her true goals in her inspirational letter.

Dear fellow anxious college student,

Do what you love. We are told as kids to chase our dreams but, somewhere along our teenage years, we are convinced of the opposite. Whether it’s through parental pressure or feelings of inadequacy, the result is always the same: the haunting consequence of being unfulfilled. We seclude ourselves in corners, chowing our Ramen, wondering what it is we’re doing with our life, when the real question is, what aren’t we doing?

Our homework is heavier than it ‘ought to be. Now, I’m not saying just because you don’t feel up to completing that assignment this week, you should drop out. If you love your major, pursue it. But, if you’ve identified with what I’ve described, you know what I’m talking about. You’re feeling the weight of scholarships, the weight of accomplishment mixed with the dread of completing a major that really wasn’t your choice. You are not in possession of your dreams, and that, dear friend, is not living. Step out of the chains that come with pleasing other people and, dare I say it, stop holding the chains of others. So often we hear the desires of other people and mix our aspirations with theirs. We are not made to be reflections. We are all made to be originals. There’s a reason why unhappiness is intermixed with jealousy.

Humans are not meant to be in want of anything, except that which they’ve been given. Chase after the career you want. Your parents, friends, or teachers won’t have to live with the consequences of the decisions you make. So why not make those consequences worthwhile? Why not make them yours?

I am a double major in animation and marketing.  In my animation degree, we must choose one of two paths. We can either study 3D or 2D. For those who are unfamiliar with the difference between the two, 3D is animation formed by computers, while 2D is associated with drawings and paintings. Two different mediums, one result: art. But, in my heart, I’ve always known which medium thrills me. You can often hear that passionate melody. It’s so obvious, yet, like you, I chose to ignore it. I went the 3D route. My friends were pursuing it, as was every other person it seemed, so I decided to follow the party. Whether it was for acceptance or ignoring that unbearable feeling of inadequacy, I went through a couple classes where I always found myself complaining. It wasn’t until recently that I was forced to think of the reason why.

Throughout high school and middle school, I always wanted to study animation for one reason: to create drawings that move. Emphasis on drawings. I never had an innate desire to make a computer mesh come to life. In my heart, the object always felt dead to me. Although there’s some aspects of 3D I like, there’s never been any real connection between me and the stuff I create this way. But, whenever I hold a pen, whether it’s on a tablet or a piece of paper, I am filled with joy. And, so I am faced with another decision: stay with 3D or pursue 2D.

This time, I choose to be bold. I choose to take the step that some people dare not take.

The decision to run after my passion, my dreams, my goals. Wherever this road will take me, I’m not sure, but I am certain of one thing: it will be gravel that will be paved with gratitude rather than regret. I will grasp my pen firmly and let it glide across the pages in which I will write my stories and draw out my characters.

Your aspirations may not be the same as mine, but I challenge you, dear friend, to do the same. Go after your calling, without guilt or shame. Because the world needs more dreamers like you. I am fully convinced that the biggest reason why so many students are stressed is because they are not truly going after what they love. Homework is bad enough. Don’t let your heart be troubled also. Be daring and be bold. There’s nothing more powerful than a human who assumes the crown they’ve been given. Accept it. With strength and humility, use the gifts you’ve been given.


Fellow anxious college student

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