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College is Weird, and I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

College is weird. With the Halloween season comes festivities and fun, which are delightful distractions. Now that Halloween is over, I’m forced to turn my attention back to school. Thus, the fact that college is weird and I have no idea what I’m doing has come back to haunt me (Halloween pun intended).

The weirdest part of college is the change. There’s the change in physical location, but I find the intangible changes far more striking. I’ll have officially been in college for three months on Nov. 16. However, it feels like it’s been way longer and way shorter all at the same time. During these last (almost) three months, I’ve changed more as a person than I did in the year before starting college. There has been so much personal development packed into a short amount of time that it has given me whiplash.

Most of the changes I’ve gone through have been positive. I feel much more independent and mature than I did three months ago, but, sometimes, I miss who I used to be.

I often worry that I’ve lost touch with past values. I was never a partier in high school, and now I love that atmosphere — mostly. When I’m at a party, something about being surrounded by a bunch of people I don’t know triggers a moment of realization when I’m suddenly struck by how different my life is now. The change isn’t good or bad. It’s just different, and sometimes that freaks me out a little bit.

Something else that often freaks me out is the concern that I have no idea what I’m doing. Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing? Am I in the right major? Do I even like what I’m studying? Who knows? I definitely don’t. I’ve acted like I’ve known what I’m doing for so long that I’ve forgotten it’s okay not to know.

It’s okay not to have your entire life figured out, especially because I’m a first-year in my first semester. In fact, most people I’ve met are in the same boat as me — upperclassmen included.

The transition to college is full of new people, new places and new experiences. It’s going to take time to adjust to all the different changes. The knowledge that I’m not alone, that everyone is going through a similar struggle, has helped me come to terms with the fact that I can’t figure everything out in three months. Maybe I won’t even have it figured out in three years, and that’s okay.

College may feel weird, scary and different, sometimes. Whether you feel like you have your entire life planned out or you’re just taking everything one day at a time, you’re doing great, and everything is going to be okay.


Madison Prentice

Chapel Hill '23

Madison is a first-year from Cary, North Carolina. She's an Advertising & Public Relations major with a minor in Spanish for Business. You can find her on Instagram at @mcprentice or on Twitter at @mcprentice8.
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