Real Talk: Adjusting to College Life
So you’re all moved in; photos of your family, pets, high-school sweetheart, and friends hang gleefully on your wall while beautiful twinkly string lights illuminate your dormitory. And your fear is somewhat subsided with all the reassurances you’ve been hearing, “College is going to be way better than high school! The next four years are going to be the best times of your life!”
For a moment, I thought they were right… But I assumed too quickly.
I mean no one said that college was going to be easy, but neither did they say adjusting to college life would be difficult either.
Attending a small, liberal arts college, I know that many of my peers are brilliant, motivated individuals where many were at the top of their high school graduating class, myself included. So it never crossed my mind that I would not “adjust” to college life. I mean what could possibly be so hard about college classes if I had done well in the AP courses I took in high school? So, when faced with the rude-awakening that I haven’t fully adjusted to college life, I felt ashamed.
Ashamed because as I look around I felt that everyone seemed to got his or her lives together as a freshmen. When I look at myself, I felt mediocre and “unadjusted” in a sea of other freshmen. I desperately craved to go back into that comfort circle of old familiarities of high school where my best friends weren’t 300 miles away. I felt unhappy, ashamed, and alone. Little by little, I began to open up and confide to my best friends and into the people I trust and soon I felt guilty to think that the feelings I felt were entirely my own. There are people out there who have experienced the same kinds of emotions, doubts, and insecurities – the kinds I thought I was alone in.
It wasn’t until I began to tell people what I was feeling in the inside was when I realized I can overcome the hurdles in front of me. I can’t confidently say that I have fully adjusted to college life yet, but I can confidently say this: I am no longer ashamed with the fact that I haven’t fully adjusted to college life. I have accepted that it is a slow learning process filled with momentous highs and rock bottom lows, but that’s the most beautiful part of this journey! You can’t have the rainbow without a bad storm first right?
Embrace the things that probably didn’t go as planned: a failed midterm, a break-up with your best friend or long-time girlfriend or boyfriend, missing your humble abode, and reevaluating your major/goals. They come with the journey and are perfectly normal. You don’t have to struggle with the transition to college alone, reach out to a close friend, sponsor, or RA. College is hard enough; so don’t make it harder for yourself by going through this alone.