Many of us go through High School dreaming about the amazing “college experience”. I most definitely did. Living with your friends, going to “college” parties, the independence…what’s not to look to forward to? My first semester of college did consist of a lot of these expectations, but also of so many more. So many more that I felt were unexpected, and made me question what all the hype was about. I did make some good friends; I loved my classes and explored my new city, yet I still struggled to find my place or my comfort zone. I missed my friends back home, I missed my mom’s cooking, I missed walking around school and recognizing every face; knowing almost every person I walked by. Most of all, I was unsure that I was in the right place. I struggled to find those friends that I could do absolutely anything with and tell absolutely anything to. The clubs I joined were so exciting and beneficial, yet overwhelming and intimidating. My classes were interesting and focused, yet more difficult and challenging than I ever anticipated. I spent my senior year of High School longing to be in college. Then when I arrived, I didn’t think much of it at all. I was disappointed and worried that my next four years would fall short of exciting and “the best years of my life”.
Don’t get me wrong, I felt extremely lucky to be where I am. I love what I am studying, the opportunities provided by my school are incredible, the city is amazing and I’ve never felt more excited to be an “adult” and pursue what I love. My issue, however, was that every other little detail that wasn’t meeting expectations was distracting me from being content, or even happy at all.
I went back home after first semester SO ready for a change of pace for a couple of weeks, and to finally be in a comfortable environment again. The amount of “I love college!” responses I faked drove me crazy, but they were much easier than having to explain to people that my “dream school” wasn’t exactly as dreamy as I planned for it to be. I wanted to love it so badly. After numerous “second semester will be better”, “you’ll love it eventually” and “you’ll find your place” pep talks from my parents and sisters, I decided to be excited about second semester and make it a positive, fresh start.
It’s only been two weeks into second semester and I’ve already signed up to be on an intramural soccer team, joined a sorority and experienced two snow days, thanks to “Juno”. Needless to say, I’ve been more busy and happy in the past two weeks than I was all last semester. Things are getting better. Slowly, but surely.
College won’t be what you expect it to be. It might be even better, it might be worse or it might be plain different than you ever imagined. But one thing’s for sure is that it can be what you want it to be, as long as you give it some time, effort and a very big chance.