Trudging Through The Mud: Making the Most of Even the Least Exciting Experiences

I’ve got three weeks left in the semester. Only a handful of remaining papers and exams stand in the way between me and the summer. But my momentum is running low.

I’m trying to chase my dreams but I’m running into 2 problems:

  1. I’m not particularly sure which dream I should be chasing
  2. I’m positive Journalism 101 has nothing to do with it.

I’m worn out with being forced to take filler classes that are irrelevant to my degree. Not that I’m even positive at this point that my current degree path is even relevant.

But, nevertheless, I carry on because I live in a time where having that Bachelors degree is oh so essential to your success and being taken seriously.

And, realistically, I know it is important. And it is vital to some of the dreams I’m wanting to chase. But I end up feeling so disconnected, sitting in classrooms, listening to yet another lecture I don’t seem to be gaining anything beneficial from.

Instead of paying attention, I end anxious, with a nasty case of restlessness and wanderlust. I’m ready to be out there actually doing.

So often the message we get is that, above all else, we should follow our passions. Of course, that message is popular, it feels exciting and full of energy. But what gets left out is that sometimes the road to getting there is messy, muddy, and just plain boring.

But even in those moments, there’s something to be gained. The boring classes, exhausting jobs, and difficult interactions all contribute to who you are and the eventual realization of your goals.

Right now, you may have no idea how the experiences you’re going through are going to play a role in your future life and self, but they are. You have to trust the process, though.

If you’re like me though, being told to simply ‘trust the process’ can feel frustrating and passive. One thing I’ve found that’s really helped and is something that’s become my mantra through difficult points in my life is asking myself “how can I learn from this?”.

Constantly being open to ways to grow is essential to being present and being invested. Have integrity and pride for the work you create, even if it doesn’t seem important right now. Living your passion isn’t just a happy ending. Behind every perfect Instagram post, every paid vacation, there are years of hard work and jobs that didn’t make it to the resume. 

Sometimes, you have no choice but to trudge through the mud because it’s part of the responsibility that’s required of you. But mud can be washed off, and you’ll be stronger and better for it in the long run. 

Allow these experiences to change you. You have no idea what role the lessons you are learning now will play in your life later on. 

Have you had any points in your life where you’ve had to “trudge through the mud”? And have you have the opportunity to see how the lessons you learned helped you later on? 

  1. Harleybangbang

    April 24, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    I’ve had times where I gave up on things too quickly, too easily and was scared of the challenges I was facing. Invariably, I ended up regretting those decisions because I realized later that it would have been worth “trudging through the mud”. Now, if I’m faced with a difficult, unappealing option that I know will benefit me in the long run, I force myself through by reminding myself of the regret that I’ll feel if I don’t do it. It sounds morbid haha but that wake up call and the reality of regret is often enough to get me back on track. Xo

    1. smstartz

      April 24, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      I definitely struggle with giving up on things when they get difficult or uncomfortable or uncertain too. There’s a lot of points in my life that I look back and think “if I’d toughed it out, where would I be now?”

  2. Candice

    April 24, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Love your Mantra! Perspective makes all the difference.

  3. Breanna Catharina

    April 24, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Goodness. The first two years of my degree were ROUGH. Just… I really struggled with the general ed classes I was being forced to take because I didn’t see the point. They were in no way relevant to what I was paying a lot of money for. I could value that I was learning something, but I really didn’t care. I totally relate to ya, chick. You got this.

    Breanna Catharina

    1. smstartz

      April 24, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      I just heard about a new alternate college called Mission U that’s about to start. I love the direction its taking and wish something like that had existed before I started school.

  4. Emma Rose

    April 24, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Fantastic blog post! Personally, whenever I have to get through something, I try to remember the last time I did it. I try and remember how satisfying it was to get that paperwork done, or to get that darn blog post written! I find that remembering that positive energy drives me to achieve it again, even if the task itself can be a drag. Xx

    1. smstartz

      April 24, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      I love that! Channeling positive energy is pretty much always a good option!

  5. Ruminvte

    April 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I relate to this post so much. The past few months have been full of ‘trudging through the mud’ moments but I’m finally feeling more positive about life right now and getting stuff done. For me personally it can be just taking a chance or getting started that’s hard but then I start running haha. I wish you the best of luck with everything + I’m sure you’ll do great.
    Ruminvte xo

  6. Aoife

    April 24, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Great post! I love the little saying ‘grow through what you go through’ and it definitely applies here! Aoife x

  7. Kanra Khan

    April 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    “How can I learn from this” is a powerful way to look at a situation. Personally, I end up thinking “how can I get through this asap” and that makes things more stressful and tiring. If I switched my mindset to what you’ve stated, I think it could make quite a lot of difference! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Corinne & Kirsty

    April 24, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    It is a really relatable post. I had the same kind of experience, trudging through the mud and I was not ready to give up coz i’d think i had failed… but it was just a waste of time and i had to refocus. Lesson learnt. Now I feel better. xx corinne

    1. smstartz

      April 24, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      That’s the hardest part, I think, trying to figure out when the struggle is worth it and when it’s a sign to move on to something else.

  9. Malin

    April 24, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    I had the same feeling through my undergraduate degree. It wasn’t until I started my masters I felt like I was on the right path, simply because I had to go through so many modules that simply isn’t related to what I want to do. But I got through it, and now I am so happy I did.

  10. Adrienne @ C'est La Vie

    April 24, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    I can completely relate to your struggles. I graduated from college last year and I felt that I was constantly worried about whether each of my decisiions in school, was leading me in the right direction. If i took this class, instead of that class, was that going to affect my future?! Which internship is going to be the most beneficial?! I figured out a couple of things. 1) It’s often the option you have the least faith/understanding/excitement about that ends up being the most life changing 2) You can’t mess this crazy thing called life, up. Every decision is always leading you where you need to be. That’s the fun in the journey they say, right? (Easier said than done, obviously 🙂 )

  11. Janne Etz

    April 25, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Some very wise conclusions there from someone obviously still quite young. I ended up not finishing the degree I was working on, but I fell into my lifelong passion by accident in my mid-twenties and have been happily, giddily, blessedly self-employed for more than 30 years. You go, girl!

    1. smstartz

      April 25, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      Thank you for the sweet compliment! Neither of my parents have jobs remotely related to their degrees so I’ve had some excellent role models 🙂 xoxo, Sarah

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