I will never forget the way my stomach dropped when my mom shut the door and I stood in my new apartment, alone, for the first time. The place felt cold, and empty. Actually, it was cold- I had to turn down the thermostat. But, like, metaphorically cold too.
Whatever. You get it.
I remember lying on my new bed, on my new comforter, and staring at the ceiling. I didn’t have a blog back then. I didn’t even think to bring a book to read. I had nothing to do, and no one to talk to.
My least favorite feeling in the universe? Loneliness. And there was a lot of it there, that night, a truckload. I could feel it weighing down on my little 18 year old heart.
It was two weeks before classes began, but I was on campus for a 14-day long program for freshmen in college. Little did I know, I was in for the two most boring weeks of my life. Also, I would meet almost all of my college friends there, and going would be the best choice I made since I stopped wearing flare jeans.
Would I re-live the first few weeks of college, given the chance? Hell no. I’m going to be honest; it was difficult and lonely and unfamiliar and stressful. But the important part here: I don’t regret it. Not a single moment. Because the longer you go to college, the less scary it is. Until, all of the sudden, you’re having the time of your damn life.
So here’s a piece of advice I have for all soon to be college freshmen: Expect to be homesick. Expect to be a little lonely. Expect to miss your dog. But know that you’ll get through it. And know that every other freshman feels exactly the same way. You might not get that much sleep the first night. And that’s okay. In the end, it’ll be worth it.
My last year of high school was tedious. I knew the system like the back of my hand. I knew just how much I could slack off in any given class and still get an A. I knew how to get out of being marked tardy. I sat with the same people at lunch. I ate the same lunches. I knew how to make the teachers like me. There was nothing new for me there anymore.
In college, all of that changed. I had to learn a lot. In that first year, I grew.
I mean, like a coffee-addicted weed, but that’s beside the point.
I ended up being a committee head for a science organization I got into. (I actually didn’t do that on purpose, but that’s a blog post for another time.) As it turns out, I like planning, and managing people was an entirely new endeavor that I didn’t have much experience with before. I lived on my own with a roommate for the first time. I even had to start doing my own laundry.
A year later, I’m more self-confident. I know I have the ability to do this thing called college, and hopefully, I will later be able to do the graduate-school thing.
So, here’s to my sophomore year, and all college-goers everywhere. For the freshmen, well, you’re going to have fun. And you’re going to be fine.
What was your college experience like? Did you miss your dog? Or do you have a goldfish instead? Comment below and hope to your deity of choice that I stop making goldfish jokes. Or whatever.