I would like to present what I believe is a balanced (and maybe realistic) view of attending college. I actually think students need to consider where they would be willing to spend one of their worst days when choosing a college… So without further ado, “Why you will want to have some of the worst days of your life at St. John’s College!”
My worst day (so far) came on a Wednesday. It was my Sophomore year. I was going through some issues with my family, I felt like I was drowning in work, and no matter how many hours I put towards Greek I still could not successfully translate a sentence into English. With all this over my head, I went into Math (the class I enjoyed most) hoping to forget about the building stress. So of course, this math class was awful. I couldn’t focus and didn’t understand a single concept. I felt like crying and running out screaming. But I held it together, that is, until music. I walked into music right after math, only to realize I had done the wrong homework. And that was all folks. I walked out of class, my eyes stinging with tears. When I was outside I felt frantic. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I just walked out of class. I felt like everyone was staring at me. Yes, I also felt alone.
That’s when I felt someone hug me from behind. It was a friend from my music class. She had grabbed my stuff, which I had left in class, and brought it out for me. She smiled and said not to worry, and that tea and a walk always helped her clear her mind. Grateful, I took my belongings, thanked her and walked to my work in admissions. Once my boss saw me, she dropped everything to talk with me about what was going on. She then gave me ways to reach my math tutor and other suggestions to get additional help in math and ended all this with a hug and an encouraging word to keep going. As I was leaving to get lunch (yes all this happened before lunch!) a classmate who happened to be nearby asked if I wanted to study Greek after dinner. Grateful I accepted. This “bad day” began to normalize, and I began to feel better that people were being so kind to me. I slowly felt less alone. At dinner an Upper-Class student, who saw me walk out of music, came and ate dinner with me and told me about the bad days (yes, that’s plural) he has had. After that, I went to study Greek with my classmate from earlier. We sat down and finished the translations faster than I could have done them on my own. But before we parted ways she gave me a chocolate bar with a cute handmade letter explaining how wonderful I was in class and to keep my head up. At this point I wanted to cry, not because of the stress or the bad day but because of how much people cared that I was having a bad day. Then to top off this day, a good friend found me by the fishpond on campus and asked how I was doing. We ended up talking for hours about life, stress, and everything in-between. So all in one day, it was the worst of days and one of the best of days – all in one day!
This long narrative is not to win applause or to brag about my friends (though I am blessed to have some pretty awesome friends), but rather to make a point about bad days at St. John’s. It is true that at St. John’s you will have some of the best and worst days of your life, just as you would at any other institution. But I also came to realize that at St. John’s, when your worst day does come, it will be challenged by fierce friends, immense encouragement, and people who truly want to see you happy, healthy, and successful.
Now as each day passes I know that another ‘worst day’ is coming. I don’t know what it will bring, and what experience I will have in getting through it, but it doesn’t look as scary now. I know I will not have to face it alone. So for me, THIS college, St. John’s College, is the place I would like to have my worst day.