As a first-generation college student, who comes from a small town in Texas (shout out to Brownsville), leaving my hometown was one of the scariest things that I could've ever done. My parents were, of course, thrilled for me because I was attending such a great school; but as excited as I was, I couldn't help but be terrified of all the bad things that could happen.
I would be the first one to leave my home to attend a new school; in a new town that I knew nothing about or know anyone. I was an adult now and I had no clue on how to be one. Suddenly, everything felt all too real the day I stepped into my dorm room and my parents left after a tearful goodbye.
As a senior in college, I look back at how scared I was and I can't help but laugh at how ridiculous I was. Of course, all of my fears were completely legitimate back then, but now I realize I had absolutely nothing to worry about!
I now look at the freshmen and notice how scared they are sometimes. I can’t help but sympathize with them. I know what it feels like to fear everything and everyone, but I know they’ll be OK. It’s just a matter of time before they realize it too.
Here are eleven fears I faced when coming to college that I wish I wouldn't have worried so much about:
1. "What if I can't make friends?"
As someone who came to live in a new town with new people; making friends was a must. Truth be told, friends will be endless in college. You'll find some wherever you go, have it be a class, a school event, or even someone in your residence hall.
2. "What if I fail all of my classes?"
I remember failing my first college exam and thinking it was the end of the world, but the last thing your professors ever want to do is fail you! Trust me, there's a definite and noticeable difference in high school exams versus college exams. However, they're do-able if you just put in a bit of time to study.
Even if you do fail a class, remember that it's not the end of the world. You're OK! Remember that college is nothing but an experience; classes or grades do not define you.
3. "How am I going to afford college?"
I know everyone says that college is incredibly expensive, but it doesn't really hit you until the bill is actually being sent to you and it says "$10,000." That's when panic actually hits and you realize that you don't have that much money. Don't fret though! Scholarships and grants can be your best friend come the new semester. Remember: "If there's a will, there's a way!"
4. "Roommates? I don't know about that."
Yep! Roommates are actually a thing. They can make college one of the most amazing experiences and can introduce you to new things every day! They're the ones that are going to be there when you're having a mental breakdown at three in the morning because you can't figure out why X=25. They're going to be there to give you advice when you need it the most.
5. "I'll miss my family."
It was probably about a month into the school semester that I realized how homesick I was and how much I missed my parents. I thought I was insane because I was an "adult" now, but it wasn't until I talked to my roommate that I realized I wasn't the only one.
She told me that missing my family was something entirely normal and everyone living away from home goes through it; "Its what makes you human," she said, "and it makes you appreciate them so much more."
If someone had told me in high school that clubs were going to be such an important piece of my college experience, I would've laughed at them. Although joining clubs in high school was just a way to really boost up your resume, clubs and organizations in college provide one of the most important things known to man in the 21st century: connections.
7. "Are professors Scary?"
In high school, did your teachers ever tell you that your professors were going to be the absolute worst? That they weren't going to care for you and that they could fail you just because? Wrong! Honestly, your professors will be some of the most interesting people you will ever meet. They're insanely knowledgeable and can 10/10 help you out with any question you might have about your career or about class.
8. "I have to know what I want to do in life."
Although some people find it ridiculous to not know what to do with your life once you're in college, it's honestly completely normal to not know. It's also completely normal to mess up and choose to do a completely different thing. College is meant to not only broaden your horizons with new things but to also indulge you in education and exploration.
9. "I'm an adult now?"
The best thing about attending a university is that everyone claims they're an adult, despite the fact that we're all just kind of winging it as we go. Don't ever stress about being labeled as an adult, chances are, nobody you're familiar with knows exactly on how to be an 'adult'; it's all a learning experience, so take it at your own pace.
10. "Will I really experience as much as I think I will?"
Being in college means that you're in for a real treat all around. Apart from meeting amazing people, you're going to learn new things and experience so much more. Don't let that intimidate you though; remember that learning is always a good thing and you're going to enjoy it in the long run.
Have it be an impromptu trip to New Orleans or a new type of food, either way, you're bound to learn new and incredible things!
11. "Will I lose all of my old friendships?"
Sometimes, I think back to my high school days and I can't help but remember all of my friends and how I didn't appreciate all of the times we spent together enough. Sometimes I think that things would be different if we were all together again, but then it hits me that those friendships that last through time and distance are the ones that you really need by your side. You'll meet new friends, and remember that the friends who don't make it through the distance and time, aren't really worth it.