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Sep 28 2017
by Florence O'Connor

6 Things To Do When It Feels Like Everyone Else Is Having a Better Time at College Than You

By Florence O'Connor - Sep 28 2017
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Instagram and Snapchat can make it feel like you are the only person in the world who isn't loving college. Here are a few tips to help you get through those moments where it feels like you are completely alone in those feelings.

1. Take a break from social media.

I know this might be the last thing you want to do, but trust me, it will help. Social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat are designed to show only the best parts of everyone's day. Of course everyone is going to portray themselves as having the most amazing college experience, but I guarantee you that isn't always the truth. Try to remove yourself from those apps, and it will not only stop you from comparing yourself to everyone else's experience, but it will also give you more time to invest in trying to enjoy your own school.

2. Talk to older students.

Talk to the other students at your school and ask them why they love it so much. Maybe they will have some wisdom about how they learned to fit in with the school and give you some tips about adjusting. Keep in mind that some schools do take longer to adjust to due to location or type of school, but that is completely okay, and you will get there. 

3. Remember why you chose your school.

Go back (if it's not too painful) to those early days of the college admissions process. You had so many options, but you chose your particular school for a specific reason. Maybe it had the most incredible program for you, or maybe it was in the absolute perfect location. Whatever the reason, remind yourself what it is about your school that appealed to you so much. Trust me, this is particularly helpful during those first semester Saturday tailgates when you decided to go to a small liberal arts college.  

4. Distract yourself.

Try to distract yourself by getting more involved at your school. Embrace the academic freedom you get at college and throw yourself into your schoolwork. Go to the club fair and sign up for any and all clubs that peak your interest. You don't have to stick to them all, but trust me, it's much better to be too busy than sitting alone in your room with nothing to do!

5. Ask how other people are feeling.

Ask around and see how other people are adjusting to your new school. You aren't the only one feeling this way, and if you find others who are in a similar funk then you can support and help each other through it. It will be comforting to know you aren't alone in your feelings. 

6. Go visit your friends.

If it looks like your best friend is having the absolute most amazing time, go visit! See what all the hype is about. Maybe you will get there and realize that the school you thought looked so fun on social media, in reality, just isn't for you. Even if you go visit and realize that this is the type of school you want to be at, then you now know, and you can transfer. Remember that college isn't a four-year sentence to one institution, and you have the freedom to transfer as many times as you like. Everyone is entitled to a wonderful college experience, including you.

Starting college is hard and it can be made even worse if you think that you are the only one not enjoying yourself. Try to remember that you are not alone in how you feel and that there are many resources on every college campus to help you get through the hard times. Try not to compare your experience to anyone else's because you don't know how anyone else is really feeling, despite what it may look like on Instagram. And remember, you are not alone!

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Florence O'Connor - New York University

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