My first semester as a freshman was spent bouncing between home and school. When I was at home, I spent time with my family and high school friends. When I was at school, I mostly sat in my dorm, binge-watching Glee and eating takeout. I was completely content with this lifestyle for almost the entire first semester I was here. When Friday rolled around and I wasn't back home, my roommates would ask me what my plans were for the weekend, and my answer was typically that I wasn't feeling well and just wanted to stay in. They all eventually stopped asking, since they knew what the answer would be. Spending my first semester literally hibernating in my room, however, was a genuinely terrible idea.
Growing up I always had friends who were one, two, three years older than me. This meant that as an eighth grader, I was dating a boy in tenth grade and all of my friends were freshmen and sophomores in high school. This isn't totally uncommon now, nor was it then, but I really let it influence my decision-making (but who doesn't, honestly). I was out all the time. I partied with high school and college kids at only fourteen. I stayed out until the ass-crack of dawn and then spent all of my afternoons sleeping. I made genuinely stupid choices that I shouldn't have been making until I was well into my college years. I fought with and talked back to my parents a lot, and constantly found myself neglecting my family to hang out with my friends. On top of all of this, I genuinely didn't care about school or my grades.
When I hit senior year of high school, I really started to settle down and spend more time trying to get my grades up. Since I spent my first three years of high school acting like a fool, my GPA wasn't high enough and my portfolio wasn't large enough to get me into the school I desperately wanted to go to. This crushed me and I spent the first half of my senior year genuinely lost and terrified that no college was going to accept me. Clearly, I did get into school and I'm very happy with where I'm at, but this doesn't change the fact that I regret not trying harder in high school.
It is now the second week of my second semester in college, and I'm over-the-moon happy with how things are going for me. I have finally found a happy-medium where I am balancing school, a healthy lifestyle, a social life and my family. I go out now, but I still have a hard time staying out as long as my friends do. I typically end up back in my dorm or asleep on my friend's couch before it even hits midnight. I used to avoid going out because of this, but I'm now totally over that phase. Sometimes I just don't want to trudge through the snow with everyone else. Sometimes I don't feel like staying out until three in the morning. I never understood why I was like this before, but now I get it — I've already done it.
If you're like this too, IT'S OK. Just remember to not lock yourself away, enjoy your life — but do it at your own pace!
Lead Image Credit: John Breland via Unsplash