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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 Tampa chapter.

It’s been a year and some change since I moved to Tampa, and a lot of good has come from it. I’m way more independent than I was when I moved, I’ve learned how to cook more things other than cereal, and I have the confidence to go on big trips, road or plane, without being scared. But as I passed the one year mark of living away from home, I spoke to a friend about what our ideas of college were in high school and how we expected to be living, and I realized that my life currently is nothing like the expectation I had of college when leaving high school. 

I think it’s normal to imagine your college years exactly how they’re portrayed in the movies: the aesthetic dorm room, having a big group of friends that do everything together, going out on the town every night and coming back with crazy stories to tell when you come home for break, etc. While that is how college ends up working out for some people, that’s not how it has for me. And that’s okay. My college experience has led me to realize that I hate leaving my house at all, my room stays pretty messy most of the time, and I don’t have many stories to tell when I come back home for spring break, and I think I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. 

What I want to say with all of this is that if your college experience isn’t panning out how you expected, you shouldn’t let that discourage you or cause you to make big changes all of a sudden. College not going how you expected can bring you some of the best experiences of your life and will probably teach you a lot more about yourself than any other situation. TV and movies are pretty much the only representation of college life we get as teenagers, especially when you’re getting ready to graduate, but it’s easy to get swept up in the fun and exciting exaggeration of college life in these shows and films. So, if you’re feeling sad and confused as to why things aren’t going quite the way you planned them, my best advice is to trust the process and try to stick it out because you might realize that your life has changed in a way that makes you more content than ever.

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a junior/senior at UTampa, and I'm a Communications major!