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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 U Mass Boston chapter.

Growing up, I kept hearing that college was going to be the best four years of my life. Coming into college, these seven words comforted me, yet they also held high expectations for whatever awaited me for the next four years. The closer I get to graduating, the more these seven words replay in my mind. Has college so far been the best fours years of my life?

I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to go to college and pursue further education, but I am here to tell you that your college experience does not have to be the best four years—or however long your college journey is. College can be filled with amazing memories and opportunities. But like with any aspect of life, it can also be accompanied by hardships. College can be very challenging, and what isn’t mentioned about these best four years is the loneliness that you can feel. Whether you commute, live on campus, or take classes online, this can be a feeling that is hard to escape, although being surrounded by people. I appreciate my time in college and what it has taught me, but this feeling was all too familiar to me, especially in the beginning of my college career during the pandemic.

With time, you will meet the right people who will be there with you through the ups and downs of college, and you will find joy alongside stressful and difficult times. College can have its own set of challenges, whether that be navigating this new chapter of your life, figuring out your major, financial aid, jobs, schoolwork, your health, and the list goes on. As someone who has had multiple jobs while being in school, I understand that not everyone has the same college experience or is able to solely focus on school, and it can be challenging to prioritize yourself and your well-being.

Looking back, if I could share advice to my freshman year self, it would be to do things that you enjoy beyond college, to advocate for yourself whether that be in school or life, and to prioritize your physical and mental health because that is what’s most important.

It can be easy to compare yourself and your college experience to others, but everyone’s undergrad journey is different, and that is okay! The expectations of college don’t have to match up to reality. College is meant to help you to figure out your path, which I understand is a big weight to bear. But also try to enjoy it, because it really does fly by. Freshman year me would have never thought that I would come to meet lifelong friends and create fond memories in college that I will cherish beyond graduation.

So, does college have to be the best four years of your life? No, it doesn’t have to be. But it can be a great stepping stone into adulthood and can foster growth, self-discovery, and help you figure out your passions. It might even be the start of some of the best memories you’ll make!

Sofia Pecher-Kohout

U Mass Boston '24

Hi my name is Sofi! I am a senior studying environmental science and minoring in psychology. I am passionate for helping people, animals and the environment. I am a mental health and disability advocate, and hope to make a difference with my writing pieces!