College Isn’t What You Expected?

For many individuals, they get to college and realize it isn’t everything they thought it would be.

The night before move-in day for my freshman year, I cried for about two hours. I did not want to leave everything that was comfortable to me, especially my family and friends. I am not going to lie to you, these feelings lasted the entire school year. It has taken some time for me to get adjusted to college life, as I think it does for many. Taking the step to move away or beginning a new journey is a HUGE deal. For those of you that have loved college from the minute you moved in, I am jealous. However, for the people that continue to struggle with being at college, this advice is for you.

 

As I said before, it has taken me awhile to feel completely comfortable and happy at school. Here are some ways that I have achieved this:  

 

  •  Make some friends

We have known this since pre-school, it is important to make friends. Having people that you can count on is crucial to feeling at home in a place that isn’t your home. Trust me, I know that making friends is easier said than done. I continue to tell my mom that college is a completely different ballgame than high school when it comes to making friends. In college, we tend to have Monday, Wednesday, Friday friends and Tuesday, Thursday friends that we only see when one of us decides to show up for class. It is hard to escape this concept, but please do try. Ask your acquaintance from Philosophy if they want to get together to study. It is much easier to create a long lasting friendship when you decide to take the relationship past just lectures and labs. Many people say that it was the friends they made in college that have stuck around their whole lives. Truth be told, the person next to you is probably shy to ask you to hangout also. Make the first move!   

 

  • Find a group that helps you flourish

Well, I may not be able to give the best advice on this tip, as it has taken me two years to find a group that I enjoy. But, it is never too late to branch out. Finding a sense of community is important in not only creating ties and networks, but also has the ability to keep you busy and unfocused on the fact that you aren’t enjoying college life. Discovering a club that shares the same interests as you means that you are surrounded by people that are like you. Get involved in group activities and refer to tip one (make some friends!) A group may be the reason that your perception of college changes.

 

  • Stay connected with your loved ones

This is my third year at a university and I still get homesick. This feeling will never go away. My family is a huge part of my life and being away from them is hard. If you are unable to make visits, FaceTime calls and daily texts are a great way to stay connected. I know that looking at someone over the phone is not the same as face to face interaction, but it is close. We are all busy, but schedule in a time in that full agenda to call someone close to you. Taking time out of your day to focus on something other than school is a great way to decompress.

 

While these are all things that have helped me significantly in college, I know that these do not work to make every student happy. If you are not getting what you wanted out of college, do not give up. Give it some time, as I said, it has taken me a while to get adjusted to all that being a college student brings. But, if you are absolutely unhappy with the choice you have made, there are always other paths you can take. Look at your other options and find out what is best for you. Life is too short to waste it being unhappy.