It’s​ ​Okay​ ​if​ ​You​ ​Aren’t​ ​the​ ​Girl​ ​You​ ​Wanted​ ​to​ ​be​ ​in​ ​College

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To anyone who expected to maintain a high GPA, be on the Dean’s List, secure a spot on a sports team, and write for the newspaper as you are in the second stage of rushing for a sorority, all while attending the most popular parties on the weekends and meeting your ideal soulmate balancing on empty red solo cups and pizza crusts, I want to address something to you. It’s​ ​okay​ ​if​ ​you aren’t​ ​the​ ​girl​ ​you​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​be​ ​in​ ​college​.

While all of these things may seem obtainable upon entering the college lifestyle, to possess a combination of all three is not rational. And once your second week on campus rolls around, you begin to realize they may even be unrealistic as well. Many people, not just girls, hope to correct what went wrong in high school once they enter the college atmosphere. However, this change combined with the stress to be the campus “it” girl can often be overwhelming, and you might find yourself slipping in the areas that you value most. Yes, it’s true, you​ ​can​ ​get​ ​good​ ​grades​ ​and​ ​party​. The “work hard, play hard” mentality can, in fact, be put into action. However, you shouldn’t expect yourself to live up to this title. There is no such thing as the perfect college student, so do not strive to be her. The​ ​perfect​ ​college​ ​girl​ ​does​ ​not sew​ ​herself​ ​back​ ​up​ ​again, ​ ​but​ ​knows​ ​not​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​herself​ ​to​ ​the​ ​point​ ​of​ ​falling​ ​apart.

However, it’s​ ​okay​ ​to​ ​break​ ​down​ ​sometimes​, although it shouldn’t be prompted to do so at all times. What’s more important is that you gain the strength to pick yourself up again, dust yourself off, and continue on with your day. College life—combined with the stress of job applications, study abroad programs and establishing yourself in and out of the classroom—may conjure up the familiar feelings of stress once felt in high school. The second I stepped foot onto campus, my eyes immediately fell to the stylish girls who accessorized with the inviting smiles stretched on their faces and excitedly shared their similarities. I was forced to engage in icebreakers, meeting classmates and sharing fun facts to find someone to relate to, which on my part, mostly failed. However, this only made me realize that​ ​in​ ​the​ ​midst​ ​of​ ​avoiding​ ​sticking out​ ​and​ ​forcing​ ​ourselves​ ​to​ ​fit​ ​into​ ​a​ ​certain​ ​crowd, ​ ​we​ ​end​ ​up​ ​getting​ ​lost​ ​in​ ​it. ​ It is okay to not find a best friend right away in college, and it is okay if you do. With this, your best friend does not have to be carbon copy of yourself. If this was the case, we wouldn’t want anyone else to be our best friend but ourselves, which at the end of the day you might prefer, and that is okay as well.

As important as it is to feel included and comfortable in a community, you must also feel secure in your own individuality. Don’t stress about fitting into the mold of an apparent perfect portrait, but rather become the role model you have always wanted to be, regardless if you possess the credentials and titles of one. Be​ ​as​ ​happy​ ​as​ ​the​ ​woman​ ​you​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​be, ​ ​but​ ​do not​ ​spend​ ​your​ ​days​ ​wishing​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​different​ ​woman​ ​than you are.