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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

I am not going to lie to you. The first few months of college was not how I expected them to be. I did what I told you guys not to do. I came into college with many expectations. Too high of expectations. When I realized that those expectations were unlikely to come true, I became the worst version of myself. I started to skip class and slack on assignments. I never wanted to leave my dorm and I just felt tired all the time. Nothing seemed to make me truly happy anymore. It was a low time in my life, but that doesn’t make me a bad person and I know that now. I didn’t then. I tell you this because I want you to know that if you felt or feel like this, you are not alone. College is supposed to be fun and eye opening to a lot of new experiences— which it is. However, many don’t ever talk about the rough part of college. Don’t worry though, I am working on becoming the best version of myself. My better self, you could say.

When college started, I expected college to be busy all the time with new friends and an improved social life. What they don’t tell you is how lonely this “improved social life” can be. You are officially on your own. You are not always going to be around people and that sometimes can be lonely if you are an extrovert like me. However, what you need to learn is that it’s okay to be alone sometimes. It’s one way to start bettering and putting yourself first.

When you are around friends and family all the time, you start to depend on them. That is just how our brain works so when we are officially alone it hits us like a rock because you have no one to depend on. So being alone actually can help you to become an independent version of yourself who doesn’t need anyone to make you happy. When you are alone, you must create your own happiness. Some examples of what you could do to generate happiness from within is go to a cute coffee shop to work on your homework, go on a nature walk for your exercise, or have a pamper night for self-care. If you go into every situation where you are alone with a negative mindset, you will make yourself down and upset. That actually goes for every bad situation. Moral of the story is use your alone time to put yourself first and learn how to become happier with your independence.

I am not going to go into any more struggles today because I don’t want it to seem like I am hitting you over the head with all of college’s deepest darkest secrets. Nevertheless, I will give you some insight about my self-discovery journey. It began a little over a month ago. It is not an easy process. It is meant to be tough, and it is not for everyone; however, if you feel ready to escape from this bad state of mind, I can help you through it. Over the course of the spring semester, I will write about my self-discovery progress and guide you through your own journey. Sometimes when you have someone there doing it with you, it helps to keep you accountable. So, we will do that for each other.

Now, for starters, I am no psychologist or therapist even though I am a minor in psych, but that is not important right now. I am just a college girl who can relate to your struggles and give you advice on how to better yourself. So, if you are in a detrimental mental state, please go talk to a professional. I love you and I don’t want anything to happen to you. So please before you read any more of this article or any the future ones, speak to a therapist and start there.

For the rest of you, your starting point is the committing to the journey. This does not mean that you will never fail because that is a given, but when you do fail, you will get up and try again. That is what matters. I hope you guys enjoyed my little life update, but most importantly I hope this article sparked a light in you to work on bettering yourself. I believe it to be the best choice I have ever made, and I want that for you too. So, like I said earlier, this will be a focal point for my writings next semester plus just some fun articles. Now your job is to make the decision and start working on using your alone time for your benefit. You won’t regret it. As always reach for the stars!

Madison Swafford is on the writing team for Her campus at the University of Kansas chapter! She writes mostly opinionated articles dealing with life and culture. Beyond Her Campus, Madison works at the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence where she utilizes her creative mind to help behavioral children and design lessons for them. She is also getting involved in the University Daily Kansan. Madison is a sophomore at the University of Kansas studying multimedia journalism with a minor in psychology. In Madison's free time, she loves to sing and read. She loves trying new things and hanging out with friends. Her competitive nature makes everything a challenge and she enjoys writing creative stories whenever she has the time.