How's college? Don't ask.

As with any other brand new experience, when you enter college, lots of people become very interested in how things are going for you.

The question, "How's college going?" is often, however, a very difficult question to give a short answer to.

What part of college do they want to know about for instance? Maybe one part is going great, while another part is making you miserable. There you have a dilemma &

Do you tell them that college is going great, miserably, or "just okay"?

This is one example of why my answer to the question "How's college going?" is ever changing.

Today my neighbor asked me how things were going at school around two o'clock in the afternoon. I was tired, cranky, and felt like I could not even begin to go into how complicated and overwhelming my life was.

"It's hard," I replied simply.

Two hours later, after a nice lunch and a nap, I was asked again by a family friend how college was going.

"It's going really well!" I replied honestly.

My neighbor, who happened to be sitting nearby, overheard my response.

"I thought you said it was hard?" he asked me.

Well, it is. But it's great, too.

This just happens to be my life as a college student. It's busy, exciting, boring, inconsistent, sleepless, fun, great, exhausting, and overwhelming; all at the same time.

Some nights I stay awake studying or writing until 4:30 in the morning and then go to class at 8 a.m., while other nights I sleep from 9 p.m. until late into the next morning. I seldom socialize with people outside of my classes, work, student senate, or residence hall. When the weekend comes I am often so overcome with emotion, exhaustion, and happiness that I am consistently shocked to discover how quickly a two day break can end.

Although my first few weeks of college were filled with endless social engagements, now two months later I cannot even remember the last time I went to a party on the weekend. I can also hardly remember the last time I ate a decent meal, as food for me is often the last priority in my schedule.

And did I mention that I love every minute of it?

I know that college is never going to stop being difficult and busy for me because I know that I am going to continue to make sure that it is everything it can be. This will mean sleepless nights, endless days, and a lack of a social life that isn't fit for a 19-year-old girl. But I'm okay with that. This is the path I have chosen.

So the next time you ask a college student "How's college going?" think twice and try rephrasing this loaded and difficult question. Try asking instead a specific question about classes, work, or social life. These are much easier to answer, and more than likely you will get a clear response.

Or preferably, you could just ask them a simple question un-related to college.

For instance, "How's your mother?"

lives in Ashland and is a freshman studying business and communication at Southern Oregon University. She is also the International Senator for ASSOU.

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