Surviving the First Few Weeks of College: My Personal Struggle

College was coming quick. Everyone told me, “It’s just glorified high school! I wish I could go back!” I was excited, yet nervous. I finally out of high school -- no more petty girl drama, I get to pick who I am around, classes I need for my future, all good things. Sike!

The first week of college was tragic. My parents moved me in, I met my roommate, I settled in, and everything finally sunk in. A pit formed in my stomach, leaving me alone with my thoughts, which is never good.

I instantly called my mom, freaking out with tears streaming down my face. She talked me down, telling me I was just overthinking it all, as I had done time and time before. The thing was, this time it was different. I couldn’t wake up without feeling as if I needed to run to the bathroom to throw up. When I could finally get out of bed, all I wanted to do was throw on leggings and a sweatshirt, feeling as if nothing was worth it anymore. Over and over I would bounce between calls and texts with my mom, dad, and best friends, hoping they would have something that would snap me out of it. Nothing did.

For the first three weeks, this feeling just kept returning. Wake up, want to puke, repeat. Thinking about classes after seeing the syllabi made me sick because it all just seemed like so much. Walking to class, the worst case scenarios would burst into my head: “Why am I here? Did I choose the wrong college? Should I really be a teacher if I hate school this much?” Everything everyone told me was wrong. It came to the point that my mom cut me off because I called her whenever I got a feeling of doubt. The phone would ring and no answer. Typical move.

Luckily, it clicked in my mind that it was only me putting this pressure on myself.

I was so used to working so hard to please everyone around me, having grown up in the small town of Otisco while attending Tully High School with a class of only 74. If you had a secret, it was bound to be more than just your business. I always had a lot of friends, great grades, participated in sports, and did every extracurricular possible. I wasn’t used to having to try so hard to do well in class, or to make new friends and try new things while having no time to myself. Everyone needs their time alone, and college makes that nearly impossible.

I started to put my needs first, as selfish as that sounds. I learned that my future and career were on the line, and it was no one else’s decision on how I would spend the rest of my life. I started spending hours in the library until I finished everything for the next day. On my free time, I got ahead and I opened up to the people around me. I found my best friend here, Jess, this way. I simply told her what I was going through, only to find out that she was going through the same things. I instantly had a friend I knew I could rant to when I needed it, without feeling uncomfortable.

After three weeks of putting myself down with unnecessary pressure, something clicked. The nausea was gone, and the real me was back. The cure was doing what was best for me, and only me, while taking things day by day.

My own personal struggle made me stronger, and my grades showed it. As a freshman in my first semester, I came out with a 3.9 GPA, lifelong friends, and a stronger mindset than ever. I made my personal needs a priority and ignored the background noise.

When it comes down to it, know that you are here at college for yourself, not to be trapped fulfilling everyone else’s wishes. This is the time to find out who YOU are as an individual. So here are some things that you should always remember:

  1. Don’t doubt what feels right.

  2. Don’t let the syllabus freak you out! You have time!

  3. Take it day by day.

  4. Open up and communicate to people on campus because more people than you think are going through the same thing.

  5. Remind yourself that you are strong, and if you made it this far, you can do anything you set your mind to.

  6. Someone always has it worse than you.

  7. Don’t leave time for stress, turn it into something productive, whether that be binge watching Netflix, joining a club, or hanging out with people that make you happy.

  8. Don’t worry about pleasing others, do what’s best for you.

  9. Have fun, these are the last years before life really hits.

  10. C’s get degrees, ladies!

  11. Remind yourself of the reasons you chose the college you are at and why you chose your major.

  12. Ignore the negative noise!

    Make the most of these years! College is not what you will expect, but everything will come together. The time is going to fly by!