For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Dec 20 2017
by Olivia Zavitson

My First Semester of College Is Over and I Don't Want to Go Back

By Olivia Zavitson - Dec 20 2017

I don't think I've ever been happier to be somewhere than I was when I arrived home for winter break. Pulling into my hometown's city limits and driving past our iconic skyline as the sunset hit just right gave me a sense of calm, one only home can provide you. We can all collectively agree that, no matter if you like your hometown or not, being back brings a sense of relief with it. Being able to actually use the bathroom in peace is enough of a perk in and of itself. 

But, what do you do when coming home is "too" good? What if being back in a mode of familiarity makes college life seem all too unappetizing, and puts you in the mindset that you don't want to go back at all? All of my peers at college are posting to social media, wailing about how they miss their cool new college friends and how they don't know if they'll be able to survive a whole month without them. While I love my newfound college friends and my little life away from home, I definitely cannot relate. I know for a fact that I am handling separation from college life just fine, soaking it in as long as I can and partially pretending like it doesn't even exist. It's become so detached from my mind that when I start to think about going back in January, I begin to fill with a sense of dread.  How do I differentiate this feeling from something normal and routine to something deeper? More importantly, how do I reconcile with it if it's attacking the pit of my stomach like an elastic band plucking on my skin? 

It's important to take into account the fact that you've only spent one semester at your respective institution. That's only one eighth of your time in college! You've barely gotten your feet wet, it's hard to have a true idea of whether you're in misery or still put off by the unfamiliarity. Keep that in mind when thinking about your place at college, as it will hopefully provide you with a sense of relief and maybe hope that these feelings are fleeting. 

Also important about the short time you've spent at college thus far is the fact that the friendships you've made are probably out of convenience. Whether it's someone who lives in your building, or the guy that sits next to you in class, the odds that you've made friends based on a network of similar interests is fairly low. If you aren't impressed with the social scene, it's probably because you haven't gotten a chance to find your community. Look at the upcoming semester as a way to explore outside of the confines of convenience. Now that you've adjusted, make a point to go out of your way and find events that seem interesting to you, not just what everyone else is doing. 

Also ask yourself if these feelings are new, or if they've consistently been in the back of your mind since the fall. The emotions of being back in your old routine and being around old friends could be bringing about an influx of emotions, and don't necessarily mean something bigger is at play. 

I am a person that prides themselves on having a pretty strong inner compass that I can count on to point me in the right direction. I think that we all have the capability of getting in touch with our intuition, but often struggle to do so because a lack of confidence in ourselves. The thought of being at a college for four years, and the amount of financial permanence that comes with it, can make it easy to pump the brakes and question your decision. Taking a step back and asking yourself these crucial questions can help you to take a step back, dig deeper and decide whether or not your feelings are rational or not. 

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Olivia Zavitson - Rhodes College

Olivia is a two times published novelist and a freshman at Rhodes College. She enjoys tasting fine cheese, failing at DIY Pinterest Projects, and talking with an awkward throat bubble. Follow her adventures on her author website, and on socials, all under @OLIVIAZAVITSON

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