COLUMN: It's okay to have a bad semester, but take it as a learning experience


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Sam Shriber

 I returned to Central Michigan University in August with the assumption that as a sophomore, I had enough wisdom to know how to balance a social life, work and academic success. 

I figured after doing fairly well my freshman year I could be the type of girl who has everything figured out, but soon I had to realize that even those girls cannot have it all.  

I made a few mistakes with time management this semester and lost the girl I truly am and desire to be. Winter break is my time to reflect on these things and spring semester is my time for renewal. 

Looking back, I arrived this semester hot off my internship at the largest non-daily newspaper in Michigan, C & G Newspapers. I was feeling confident and prepared for life on campus to be easier than binge eating my favorite snack. 

A crystal ball promised me to be the type of person who quits wearing sweatpants for weeks and highlights their face every morning. I wanted to study and mingle in coffee shops and have this puzzle of life completed, sealed and framed. 

But I wore the same pair of sweatpants consecutively, failed to create healthy study habits and haven’t even started figuring my life out. I crashed and am still burning.  

Early nights came through without sleep too regularly, my brain sizzled during attempts to memorize anthropology vocabulary. My patience was obliterated from reading things too technical for my attention span. 

Academics and my incapability to acknowledge the failures and rejections happening in my life were making me more bitter than a Michigan winter. Positivity has always been my strongest weapon in conquering the world, and when that sword is chipped, I cannot help but feel bare on the battlefield. 

In a perfect world, I could have armored myself with number of resources provided by CMU and its community. 

There are professors who spend hours in their offices waiting for someone to make an appearance. College, being the land of tuition costs, rent payments and plummeting bank accounts, ensures there’s an employable tutor eager to be contacted. 

But these resources exceeded my field of vision and were overlooked in lieu of things dramatically less important.

Late nights out were prioritized over homework assignments. More time was spent flirting with guys than actually pursuing something meaningful with my time. 

The fantasy of being a wild child dancing on DJ tables, singing on party platforms and waking up earlier for tailgates than class was pursued with full force. 

I genuinely felt as though these impulses were gentler and kinder on my conscious than the more honorable route. 

For a while, it was fun to disguise myself when the sun went down. It was exciting to no longer be a sheltered, well-disciplined student and to be among people too infatuated with their youth to judge me. I loved being the kind of person who danced through strobe lights and didn’t have to care about tomorrow because I was too in awe of the moment. 

It was easier to shut off my determination simply under the justification that it was healthier for me mentally and it was a way to protect me from more disappointments in my career field and the classroom. 

Whatever makes you disappointed in yourself, remember that it does not define you. Although I still intend on being festive in 2018 and pursue a life that’s vibrant and free-spirited, I realize that I am here for a purpose greater than myself. 

So enjoy your holidays, eat cookies and sleep in your hometown bedroom, and be hyped to come back to CMU stronger, sharper and more ambitious than ever before. 


About Samantha Shriber

Samantha Shriber is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life and is a Saint Clair Shores ...

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