To the Girl Who Feels Like She's Drowning

To the girl who feels like she’s drowning,


Sometimes, I feel like a shark. Like if I stop moving for even half a second, I’ll drown. It feels kind of like each movement, each task I take on, is keeping the weight of everything I’m feeling from crashing in around me. I use being busy as an excuse to protect myself.


Usually, the beginning of the year is a breeze for me. I always seem to be able to slip into the routine hustle and bustle of college life like I’m slipping into my favorite pair of sweatpants. Reunions with good friends, the start of my clubs again, and the beginning of classes usually make being back in Blacksburg one of my favorite things. This year, though, things have been different.


As I left home to come back to Blacksburg once again, a couple of things I had always counted on were flipped upside down. I lost two of the friends I thought I was closest to, I was burnt out and tired, and, for the first time, I stopped enjoying the job that had always been so much fun for me. Things just didn’t feel right, and everything added up to me feeling off-kilter by the time I made it back to Blacksburg.


Now, I’m not writing this to make you feel sad for me or to pity me. Instead, I write this in the vain hope that I can make someone else feel understood. At the beginning of the year especially, it’s so easy to look around, see all of the excitement, and to feel out of place. To feel like the odd one out because it just seems so easy for everyone else, but not you.


If you feel like you’re struggling just to keep your head above the water at the moment, me too. I feel the same way.


In short: it’s not just you.


Just give it some time (what a gross cliché, I know), but eventually, things will even out. You won’t feel like everything is going to come crashing in at any moment. College, this feeling, it’s all temporary. Eventually, you won’t feel like you’re up to your neck or out of your depth, and that’s when things start to get fun. But until then, know that you’re not the only one feeling this way.


Yours truly,

A Collegiette


P.S. Even as I’m editing this (about a week after writing it), I’m slowly starting to feel more and more at ease with being back in Blacksburg, and it’s feeling more and more normal to be back in the structured routine of daily college life. Just give it some time, and be patient with yourself