Surviving vs Thriving in College .

Kryssia Borges
3 min readJul 30, 2020


From a young age we are motivated to find our passion and become the best at it. And from there we were pressured to stand out whether we were aware of it or not. College is one common path that people choose to become professionals in a field that they’re interested in, however this experience can be challenging at times.

When I started college in Product Design, I had a strategy: be extra responsible, and try to give the extra mile. I thought it was going to be enough cause that’s what I was taught, if you try hard enough you’ll get it. I couldn’t have being more wrong, but how glad I am on how things turned out. First semester was a rude awakening. Even though I followed my strategy to a tee, my projects were nowhere near outstanding, and as the time passed my frustration grew and my self confidence plummeted.

Now, three years later and just a couple months before graduating I have straight A’s, my projects have been featured in the school yearbook among other places. Here I’ll share what help me on the journey:

Learn from others

As humans we tend to compare ourselves with those who are doing better than us, however if we try to press into what we can learn from them instead of comparing ourselves we’ll change our perspective and improve. Try to take advantage whenever you meet someone whose performance you admire, and I’ll guarantee you it’ll take you further than when you were comparing yourself to them.


Consistency is key in multiple areas of our lives, college is no exception. The more you try, the better you’ll get. Try to do things in different ways in order to find what works best for you. Also try to find ways for you to enjoy what you are doing. There is no excitement in being consistent with something you don’t enjoy. Giving up was tempting at times (mostly when I was starting), but I never had valid reason to do it. College being hard was not one, teachers being challenging at times wasn’t one either, and me feeling incapable just encouraged me to work harder. Set goals and achieve them.

Self Assurance:

For most college means independence, but it also includes emotional autonomy. It’s key for you to learn how to self motivate yourself and believe in what you think has a possibility of success. Yes , listen to what others have to say, but at the end of the day follow your gut and trust what you know. It’ll help you improve. There will most likely be discouraging people around you. Even with A’s in all my classes, I received some harsh comments from a few of my teachers, and at those moments I had to control my thoughts and believe in my potential.

These three components aren’t exclusively useful in college, they will most likely help you improve in all areas of life. My way of achieving things changed completely for good over these past three years, and I wouldn’t have grown so much if my initial strategy had worked. At the beginning I was barely surviving, but I can humbly say that now I am thriving. God was always faithful, and the support of my family and close friends was key on my college experience.