In all honesty, I was never “dying” to graduate from high school. I had my moments of excitement but after moving many times throughout my life, I finally felt settled. It was hard for me to understand why so many of my friends couldn’t wait to leave because I loved my life. Not that I ever like change, but the transition to college was especially hard for me. After a year of riding high, I hit a deep low. I craved the comfort of home and high school. The people I met at college were, for the most part, radically different from me and I felt lost. Freshman year was the most difficult year of my life and I couldn’t picture surviving that year, let alone any more.
But here I am, entering my junior year of college. I’ve (obviously) survived and I’ve matured in more ways than I ever imagined. I’m nowhere near fully mature (are we ever?) but I’m incredibly proud of the progress I’ve made in just two years. From the 17-year-old crying in her dorm room to the 19-year-old writing this post, I’ve come a long way. On Friday I wrote about looking back and seeing how much has changed since then. While it sounds like rainbows & butterflies now, I feel for those people who aren’t jumping with joy about starting college or are worried about what’s to come. I just want to be that little ounce of hope for people struggling that says “it’s OK.”
It’s OK to miss home
It’s OK to not find a group of friends right away
It’s OK to prefer a low-key movie night to going out to a club/bar
It’s OK to get lost on campus
It’s OK to feel lost
It’s OK to text your mom more than anyone else (she’s my lifeline)
It’s OK to have a laundry-malfunction and cause a little flood (not like I did that or anything…)
It’s OK if you’re an introvert (I know it’s tough in a world of extroverts)
It’s OK to not “hook-up” with random people or enjoy the party scene
It’s OK to struggle with classes at first. It takes some time to learn each professor’s teaching style…everyone is different.
It’s OK to cry, to ask questions, to be sad/happy/excited/scared/overwhelmed/tired/confused/whatever
From the outside it always looks like people are super happy, successful and have their lives together. Just know that is not always the case. Some people do a good job at putting on a front and hiding their true emotions while others simply have an easier time adjusting to college life. There are tons of people who actually are excited to start college, and probably most students are. But just know that if you’re not one of them, you’re not alone. It gets easier. You get stronger. You find a routine. You take advantage of the amazing opportunities college has to offer. You enjoy the freedom.
It is most certainly an adjustment, but one you can handle.