Thanksgiving Thoughts: Why It’s Okay to Not Always Be Okay

As we near Thanksgiving break and everyone starts counting down the hours until they can go home to Mom (or Dad’s) cooking, I want to do a little reflection on my first three months of college and something important it’s taught me: adjusting to life in college is actually really hard, and it’s okay to have days where you just want to sit and cry without a good reason to. It’s okay to be sad, or stressed, or homesick, and it definitely doesn’t mean you’re failing to live out a good college experience. Just because you’re “happy” in general does not mean you are obligated to be happy 24/7.

If you had asked me what I thought the hardest part of freshman year would be during the summer, I would have told you academics. The idea of living 2000 miles away from all my friends and family didn’t faze me one bit – I’ve always been independent and made friends easily and I was sure I would do the same here. Being homesick? That would never be a problem for me.

(me, as I pictured myself being wickedly independent.)

Then I started feeling stressed over things like not knowing how to calculate my grades, about how much I needed to study for midterms, about balancing going out, being in organizations, and still learning how to be okay with not having the highest grades in my classes anymore. (Side note: if you go to a competitive college like BU and you’re easily the top kid in all your classes, you’re in the wrong classes.)

Suddenly college life wasn’t all sunshine and daisies anymore and I felt like the fact that I wasn’t skipping to class with joy meant that I was failing somehow. Failing who or what, I wasn’t sure, but I felt like by not having the perfect first semester, free of any problems, that I was somehow doing something wrong. I have wonderful friends, I love my classes, I love Boston, so... what was wrong with me?

(how I thought I would be in college 24/7)

(how I actually was after any minor inconvenience)

Nothing was wrong with me. That’s the answer I had trouble realizing, and something I’ve witnessed a lot of my friends struggle with. It’s okay to have days where you just want to call your parents and have them tell you everything is going to work out. It’s okay to have nights where you miss all the places you drove around with your friends for years. We’re out on our own for the first time and slowly learning the ropes as we go.

So, with that, I just want to end with this: if you’re currently struggling with stress, homesickness, or anything at all just remember that everyone else is too. The fact that we’re here, and the fact that we’re doing this at all, is badass in and of itself.

Now let’s finish out the week and go get this (corn)bread.

 

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