I was around eight years old when I discovered the world of college. I became obsessed with the idea that college was going to shape me into a working woman; someone with ambition and drive. Everything I had heard about college all the way up to the day I actually left for it was extremely positive.
"College is the best four years of your life." "I am so excited to hear all the amazing stories you have when you come back for winter break!" After hearing things like this over and over, college became my everything. I had one dream, and that was to got to a college I would be proud to attend. Years of hard work, breakdowns and friendships later, I'm writing this article in my dorm room and it's nothing like how I thought it would be.
College was immediately a huge disappointment and I was so disheveled I lost myself within it. A once happy and compassionate person, I turned to isolation and agitation. I had a hard time making friends, school was getting increasingly difficult and stressful and living with someone for the first time has been one of the biggest ongoing challenges of my life. I think the hardest part of college, however, is the excitement I had about finally being an adult.
I can tell you for a fact, I may be considered an adult but I have shrunk many shirts, had a few mice in my dorm room and gotten lost on public transportation going to Target. You are expected to take on the role of an adult and as much as we can't wait to have that independence, it's a lot harder to go to class, do your homework, eat three meals a day and manage to wear a clean shirt than I ever thought it could be. When I opened up to friends and family back home, the conversation shifted.
"I remember freshman year was really tough."
"It's a hard transition and it took me a while to love going to school."
I'm not sure whether or not they were saying this to take pity on me or if they had actually felt this way, but it was the first time I had heard something negative about college, specifically freshman year. But it turns out I wasn't the only who had high hopes that were destroyed. Everyone I talked to, from the girl who lives in the library all the way up to the beer pong champion, didn't know college would be so hard. People began to change just like me, trying to conform to college life by living in the library and sleeping about an hour a night. The more days that passed, the more people wanted to transfer.
I will say one thing great about the first few months, however. You never feel more alone in your life until you find out that everyone else feels just as alone, just as homesick and just as overwhelmed. I am still struggling to get the experience I had dreamed up since childhood and I have almost completed my first semester of college. So yes, there is tons of potential for college to be incredible, but calling all incoming freshman: it is not like how the adults in your life describe it and it's not what you dreamed of. It will be tough, you will probably cry and you may need a little support in the beginning from professors or friends, and that's okay, because like everyone else, you will get through it.
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