Dear Agnes: My friends all have their stuff together. They know where they’re going to transfer next year, they’ve already applied and gotten accepted, they have an apartment picked out, and I don’t even know what I’m going to wear tomorrow. Where do I even start with all of this adulting? I’m right there with you! Learning how to adult is very overwhelming at times. First off, stressing out will not get anything accomplished other than freaking you out. It doesn’t help you figure it out faster. It doesn’t narrow down your options. It doesn’t clear your schedule so you can think about it. So try your best not to spend the majority of your time stressing about your future instead of working toward it. Once you’ve somewhat lowered your heart rate, think about the big picture of what you want to do with your life. If you have an idea of what that is, then work backward from there. If you want to be a doctor, you’ll have to do clinicals at a hospital before that, you’ll go to medical school before that, you’ll have to get a bachelor’s degree before that, you’ll have to get accepted to transfer into a four-year school before that, and you’ll have to apply to a four-year school before that. I find that working backward reminds me that it’s a process, and I have to work on the next step before I do anything further out. Map out what it will take to get you where you want to be and work on that first step to get you there. I completely believe in your ability to get your stuff figured out.
Dear Agnes: I failed my last test, and I am so mad at myself. I feel like I put so much effort into studying and still don’t get the grades I want. Should I just stop trying, or do you have any tips to do better that I’m missing? I once heard a friend tell me that their mother always repeated the saying, “If getting a 60 is the best you can do, then be proud of it! If you can get a 90 and you’re settling for a 60, then fix it.” I didn’t fully understand this concept until I personally made a worse grade than I anticipated in a class I really needed to do well in. I realized that what my friend’s mother was saying was that if I put 100 percent into something — study all I can, give up meaningless parties to focus on school, etc. — then I have nothing to be ashamed of if I make a low grade, because I did all that I could; however, if I only put 40 percent of my effort into a class, then I need to learn from my low grade and do better in the future. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that it really is only ONE grade out of your entire academic career, so don’t get too hung up on it. After all, you can’t live in the past and change anything; all you can do is change your present to get a different result. Hope that helps!
Dear Agnes, it’s been a while since you recommended some new music. Any great suggestions? OK, so it might be because I’m a sassy, strong, independent woman, but I’m currently in love with Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor’s new singles, “Dangerous Woman” and “No,” respectively. I highly recommend jamming out to them if you’re in the mood for some pop. I’ve also recently discovered another fantastically chill artist named Ben Folds. He’s an old-school hippie-like musician who is great for any afternoon tunes. I’m not gonna lie, though; I’ve been rocking out to some Beethoven while I study, and I’ve noticed that it really helps me to remember what I’m reading! Everyone should try that one out.
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