My Not-So-Typical College Experience

I used to be hard on myself and get sad when I thought about how different my college experience has been compared to my friends and people around me. Then I discovered that everyone’s college experience is unique and there is no right way to do anything. However, it took me some time and lots of reflecting to get to this point.

I transferred to SLU in the spring of 2017 after spending a semester at University of Colorado at Boulder. I was the first person in my family to transfer schools and not have a positive first semester, so this transition was already a struggle for me. Luckily in my first couple weeks at school I met people who I am still best friends with today and will be living with in a couple months. However, being a transfer student in the middle of the year was extremely hard. Groups had already been formed and there are less opportunities to go out and meet new people than the first semester. I felt isolated and lonely for a long time because I was not doing the typical SLU activities or going out like other people I knew here. It was difficult to see posts on social media of others having the typical SLU experience while I felt like I was doing something wrong.

I also switched my major twice which made me frustrated with myself that I could not get it right the first time, and that it has caused me to graduate a year behind when I was supposed to. I am now a Social Work major and I could not be happier or more excited about going to class. I have finally found my passion and it is the best feeling in the world. There is also not a specific time limit for college. It is completely okay to graduate earlier or later than expected, or to take some needed time off and go back at a later date. I wish I would have spent less time worrying about if my college experience was the right one instead of accepting that my path is different and that is one-hundred-percent okay.

This is when I learned that there is no “typical college experience” and there is no right way to do it. Everyone has different interests and pastimes and there is no point in comparing my life to anyone else’s. Everyone has their own unique path on this earth that is special to them. As long as I have incredible friends, a solid support system, and am happy with my life, that is all that matters.