The Truth about College and Self Love

College can super messy. You are entering, living, or ending what they say are the best four years of your life. That’s a whole lot of pressure.

Everyone says college is the best time of your life. There are so many expectations going through these years. You are supposed to find your true love. You are supposed to find your best friend. You are expected to make the memories you look back on for the rest of your life. AH.

Throughout this process, it is so easy to lose yourself. Between balancing classes and your social life, clubs and jobs, events and your sanity, it’s easy to feel lost. Throughout my college experience, I’ve learned how important it is to be honest with yourself. If you aren’t honest with yourself, then you become someone you don’t know anymore… a reflection of a stranger. You feel lost, adding to your stress and it sets you back big time. If this is you, stop. Breathe. And listen.

I promise you. You’ll be okay.

As young women in college we are supposed to be happy and free. We are supposed to be finding ourselves and experimenting and doing what makes us happy. The newfound freedom is supposed to allow you to spend your time how you want. This sounds like a dream because it is not what it seems.

College is amazing, no doubt. But it is so sugar coated. There is a social stigma associated with this age that you aren’t supposed to be sad. Which makes you even sadder if you already are sad. Makes sense? It’s about to.

If this is you, and you feel alone, the first thing I am going to tell you is that you are not alone. Now repeat this in your head and repeat it ten more times.

You are on a campus of 33,000 people. You know that advisor that knows your schedule? She thinks about you every day. You know that barista who makes your caramel macchiato every morning? You inspire her with your motivation every morning. You influence people everywhere you go. The world doesn’t know you’re hurting. You may feel like it’s showing like a sign above your head. They think you’re fine with your cute booties and new scarf. Keep this in mind.

Second of all, you do not need to hide how you feel to be happy in a crowd. It may feel like you don’t have many friends, and you may feel like you need to get over things you don’t agree with just to have friends. If this is true, you need new friends. You should never have to lie to yourself about how you feel about things just because the people that surround you believe those things. It’s never too late to start something new, even a friendship. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Find a new niche.

I think the most important lesson I’ve learned of all is to stay true to yourself. Be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling. I’ve found myself feeling so lost as I’ve convinced myself I am everything I am not. The pressures from everyone in life have led me to believe I am a good student, a good friend, a hard worker and a genuinely good person. Everyone thinks I am all of those things, but am I really? Or is it all a front?

I want everyone to think I am okay. But, at the same time I am drowning. I am screaming for help but no one can hear me. And I’ve learned, it’s okay to not be okay. People don’t care as much as you think. People won’t judge you. Quite frankly, they actually care about you. It may not seem like it, but it only doesn’t seem that way because they don’t see your struggles. The more you deny how you feel, the worse you end up feeling.

Be honest with yourself and accept if you aren’t happy with whom you are. It’s never too late to change who you are, no matter where you’ve been. Be genuine in all you do and embrace who you are. Love yourself. The right people will come. The love of your life will come. Those memories you look back on the rest of your life will come.

And you’ll remember, if you’re not okay… that is okay.