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Freshman Struggles: Stop Living Vicariously

I’ll be honest, I didn’t have to work very hard to make friends in high school.  They kind of just fell into my lap.  It’s strange because here in college you have to actually… Make an effort.  It’s true, my entire life I mostly let my friends come to me. I did not seek people. I sat back and waited.  I admit, I’m sort of a recluse, as evidenced by the fact that I’m only comfortable talking about this from behind a computer screen. I get overwhelmed by lots of people and being surrounded by them ALL the time is… difficult, to say the least.

The friends I have made are all people who live in my dorm.  And there’s nothing wrong with that, but it is SO important to meet new and different people and broaden your horizons.  The friends from my dorm all live on my floor, and most live in my same section.  Some of them have attended SYRs, festivals, parties, and get-togethers; they have study groups from class, crushes and items and dates and boyfriends, and I have none of that.  As I have said before, I am a recluse, a semi-introvert who gets exhausted from too many people so, naturally, I live through others.

It’s true, I am a vicarious liver who cannot wait to hear the stories from the latest date or event, or SYR, or whatever the case may be.  I make sure to surround myself with people who do lots of fun things so that I can hear about all of the fun things they did.

The real problem is that college is seriously overwhelming.  There’s too much to do ALL the time.  There are chariot races and movies and pageants and festivals and sports events and parties and free food (so much free food), and so much that you just aren’t sure what to do with yourself.  So I end up opting out of things and hearing about them later.

If you’re anything like me, it’s time to get out and live instead of experiencing everything second hand.  Here are my three tips on how to stop living vicariously.

1. Say hi to at least one person in class this week.

Do it.  You have to be willing to put yourself out there and make friends with people who don’t live just 3 yards away from you in every direction.  Say hi to someone and ask them for notes on that really confusing lecture, suggest a study group, JOIN a study group, interact with other human beings!

2. Give yourself a strict minimum of fun things to do.

I know, all of the different activities are super overwhelming (and you still have studying to do!), but down the road, you will regret it if you don’t participate in at least some of the fun stuff this university has to offer.  Set a minimum number of fun things you will attend for the week: 3 to 4 if you’re feeling super energized, or 1 to 2 if you know you’ll be cooped up in your room most of the week.

3. Try something new.

You’re only a pseudo-adult so there’s nothing to lose! You can try as many new things as you want, and there’s really no consequence for being terrible at it! Expand your horizons!


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Hello, people of the internet! My name is Alexis, and I'm excited to share my thoughts with the wider audience of Her Campus! I have always loved reading and writing, but I am also a girl who loves dreaming, swimming, puppies, and amateur baton twirling. If I could be any mythical creature, I would be a mermaid, hands down; my favorite type of potatoes is hash browns, and my guilty pleasure television show is Pretty Little Liars. My writing will definitely reveal more about me as the school year rolls on.
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