Inspired, Insightful Individual

Today I’m featuring my first A-Z Challenge guest blogger. Welcome Amy from The Kaleidoscoper!

I will graduate from college in one short month.

As I reflect on the past five years, I realize that they easily represent the most difficult time of my life. My parents got divorced. I was diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder sophomore year and experienced three mixed episodes within the next year and a half, all of which resulted in stays at psychiatric hospitals. graduation 1I left the Christian faith, which was hard on me because it meant losing friends and basically having to redefine myself. I discovered that I am bisexual. All of this of course excludes obvious aspects of college, such as schoolwork and having a social life.

College has been trying, but I am thankful for the hardships. Without them, I would not be the inspired, insightful individual I am today. (Yes, I had to be obnoxious and utilize three words that begin with I).

College inspired me. The relationships I established the past several years changed me for the better. My professors taught me the importance of opening your mind and thinking critically, while my friends taught me the importance of loyalty and laughter.

College gave me insight into myself and stretched me in ways that other life experiences cannot. I know that I am strong and can overcome anything because of my college experiences.

Most importantly, college made me an individual. The diversity that surrounded me opened my eyes to the person I am and want to become. College caused me to realize that graduation 2I truly am unique and should embrace it fully.

College means different things for different people. Some people merely perceive college as a way to get a good job – funny story about that – while others, like myself, reflect on college as more so a time for personal growth. I do not believe everyone should attend college, but I am thankful I did. I look back on the past five years with fondness, recognizing that while they were the most challenging years of my life, they were also the most rewarding.

You can find Amy at her blog, The Kaleidoscoper, and on Twitter and Facebook

This post is part of my April A to Z Challenge. For more All Things College posts, click here

40 thoughts on “Inspired, Insightful Individual

  1. I guess I didn’t know all of the life challenges you’ve faced. It’s great you’ve been able to use your college experience to get so much more from your life. Are you job hunting? Will you stay in this half of the country or move back the NW? I think I told you my wife is an SLP and has worked in pretty much all aspects of the field from cradle to grave and high level cognitive to low level swallowing and everywhere in between. So good luck as you approach graduation!


  2. It’s fantastic that you had such a good experience in college. Above all, I think, it’s fanastic that, out of so much hardship, college tought you to find the good in everyting.
    It’s a nice post :-)


  3. Hi Amy! :)

    I graduated last December. Think I’m with you on it being the hardest time of my life… Parents also got divorced. Also realized I’m bisexual. Also left the Christian faith for the most part. Realized I had serious anxiety issues, and also ended up realizing I’m on the autism spectrum (congratulations everyone reading this comment, you are collectively the fourth person in the world to know this!) Plus school, friend problems, romance problems, etc.

    But somehow it was also the best time of my life so far, and just like you said, “rewarding” is definitely the word. You’re gonna be be so amazed on graduation day, and congratulations! :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hannah, wow, your comment is so inspiring! I am also on the autism spectrum and this was one reason I had to drop out of college (due to, among other things, very unsupportive staff at my university). I am so glad you did graduate and found yur college time to be the best, if also the hardest, time of your life.


      • Thanks. :) Misunderstandings and unsupportive staff would make any college experience very, very tough. I see your whole A to Z theme is autism, going to check that out now!


  4. This is such an inspiring, insightful post. I am glad that college helped you embrace the unique you you are, even though it was hard. As a person who myself dropped out of college due to mental health issues, I am ever so happy to see others feel more supported in college and making it through.


    • Thank you so much! It was hard but definitely worth it. I do have an amazing support system. There were several times I was close to dropping out of college but somehow I pulled through…and I am glad I did!


  5. When he was in his 20s, my husband got some advice from a co-worker. The co-worker said, “Never marry someone without a college degree…and not for the reasons you think.” The co-worker was talking about how those years are VERY formative and there’s something someone goes through during them that shapes them as they go into adulthood. My husband married someone without a college degree and it didn’t work out…so maybe there’s something to that? I don’t know. I do know my college years changed me dramatically and I’m not sure I’d be the same person without them…not just for the education, either. The experience itself.



    • That’s a really interesting piece of advice! People would usually think it has something to do with ambition or drive, but I think it’s true that there’s a lot of identity shaping that occurs in college that perhaps doesn’t occur outside of college. Thank you for sharing!


    • Interesting! I can understand that to a certain extent. I am more about my significant other having gone through a life-changing experience than I am concerned about their college degree. I want my significant other to be able to think critically and keep an open mind, which is why I think experiences that change your perspective are important. Thanks for sharing! :)


  6. To go through so much in such a short amount of time must have been very trying! I had panic attacks during my first summer of full-time university (I was a transfer student finally living on my own) and went through several of the changes you went through (coming out, finding out I had serious depression and the doctors at the school clinic being unable to help, etc.) I’m glad you walked through that tunnel on the brighter end. You’re going to love everything that comes after (even the hard stuff!)

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    A-Z Blogging in April Participant


  7. Such hardships you’ve been through. Although I haven’t been through the same things as you, the first years of my own college experience were not so peachy as I would’ve liked with my dad getting cancer, my only grandfather dying, and my own struggles with an eating disorder. However, I am also just one month away from graduating, and when I look back on the person I was when I started, I can do nothing but agree with you describing yourself as an “inspired, insightful individual”, as that is precisely how I view myself. That incredible growing a person can do if he/she wants to, is something to be treasured and recognized and I love how you did that in this post. Thank you so much for writing this down.


  8. I love this post. College has made me change for the better. And I’ve made wonderful connections with professors and friends. I agree with everything you said in this post.


  9. I had a mixed relationship with college. I didn’t have a very good time there and I don’t have particularly fond memories of my time back then. But I really want to go back to school one day and do a masters, partly because I love learning and partly because I really want to give it another try and get the kind of experiences and memories people treasure about their time in college.


    • Certainly different people have different experiences with college. I would absolutely get a masters for the learning aspect! I may go back to receive a masters myself one day. But I will say that from what I know, the masters world is WAY different than the undergraduate world in almost every sense. I would just keep that in mind so you do not find yourself disappointed. :)


  10. Pingback: The Scars of Losing People - The Kaleidoscoper

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