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Real Talk: Freshman Year Expectations

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Okay, let’s address some things. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who held some extremely high expectations for my college experience. I’ll admit that I was led to believe that college was going to be the best four years of my life. I expected to easily meet people and make what would become some of my best friends for life. I thought I would become a wholly genuine, invigorating version of myself, especially compared to my high school self and that I would organically embrace every aspect of college spirit. *Cue the montage of Becca walking through Barden University* (Yes, I did make a reference to Pitch Perfect.) SIKE! Boy, was I wrong!

I know some of you are thinking, “Girl…seriously, you’re only a freshman, you can’t judge your college experience when you’ve barely even dipped your toe into the massive waters of college.” Well, I’m going to do precisely that.

People tend to tell you all the great things about college, but there are a lot of things that those same well-intended people failed to mention, especially regarding freshman year. They fail to mention the many late nights you spend in the library crying from stress in hopes that you pass your classes and get into your major.

They don’t tell you that it will be difficult to maintain a balance of keeping your friendships from back home intact while investing in developing new friendships. They never talk about how hard it is to be far from home or to realize that the curtain is slowly closing on your childhood. Yet, as a freshman, these thoughts run rampant in your head, all while you are seeking to attain that memorable college experience that everyone raves about.

Why don’t people ever talk about the tough parts of college? Most everyone experiences some sort of struggle with a major life change, whether they admit it or not, post about it or not. Yet virtually no one ever posts their failures, except @BarstoolFSU. Most of us face challenges throughout life, yet when people tell you college will be the best four years of your life, they don’t typically share their struggles. I really wish they would because it would take the pressure off of searching for the euphoric college experience. And let’s be honest, some of the greatest truths in life are the ones that are most unpleasant to hear, but those are often the most real and insightful. Don’t we reflect, learn and grow more from failures anyway? Think about it. Aren’t some of the most interesting, admirable people you know ones that have overcome tough situations or circumstances?

So as high school seniors excitedly approach you for insight about college, do them a favor and be honest with them. Major life changes do not come without challenges. To my fellow classmates whose freshman year has been filled with challenges and who had unrealistically high expectations like me, remember that these struggles are allegedly setting us up for growth. Embrace the struggle. And as my mom says, “this too shall pass.” So if freshman year hasn’t felt like it’s launching you into your “best four years” …it’s okay.

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Hey, I'm Taylor Kirby! I'm a sophomore double majoring in Marketing & Advertising at FSU. You can find me in my room mourning the loss of "Vine" as I pretend I don't know almost every Tik Tok dance.
Her Campus at Florida State University.