First and Foremost
Relationships in general, when navigated right, can turn into awesome connections in your life. As much as I want to say I've had these great connections a lot, I haven't.
But bad experiences with people can become learning lessons. It's important to set standards for yourself on who you let in and who doesn't deserve to be let in. Your boundaries, your rules, your well-being. Please remember that and value your relationship with yourself above all else!
In college, making friends is probably one of the hardest things ever. Maybe not for some people, but I think a majority of people can relate.
It's great if you come to college with friends and people you already know. If you don't, I hate to break it to you, but it's terrible. I mean, maybe if you're an extrovert who intentionally seeks out connections with random people in the dining halls or in class, you'll be okay. It's great if you're among the hundreds of students who join sororities and fraternities, gaining exceptional friendships overnight.
If you're not one of those people, you might be like me: an introverted and shy person who'd rather keep to herself than put herself out there. I don't say any of this to rag on people who are different. Rather, I say this because I'm expressing how hard it was for me to make friends.
For me, coming to college was like high school but worse. It was unfortunate that my randomly picked roommate didn't have an interest in hanging out with me. Aside from that, I didn't want to join any clubs in fear that I wouldn't fit in.
Also, I overthought things way too much. I did see clubs and activities going on around campus I wanted to get involved in. I went so far as to say to myself, "Even if I do go, I'll look stupid for not going with any friends." I'd be a loner at an event dedicated to meeting new people and although that makes sense, my anxiety overtook and I always bailed.
Friendships don't come easy and they can heavily impact your college experience. I'm glad to say I've navigated my way through friendships and have some to lean back on. But it was very hard getting to this point.
Girlfriends and Boyfriends
This topic is complicated. When it comes to romantic relationships in college, it can either be great, terrible, in between, or a full range of explosive tendencies. Anything, anyone, anywhere... it all happens in weird and unpredictable ways.
Navigating these ways is hard and can be extremely uncomfortable. Many people in college have no sense of what they want or what they're looking for, and that makes things complicated.
For some, it's easy to connect with people you can relate to and form mutual relationships. But for others, it's hard because everyone in college is at different places in their lives. From high school sweethearts to people who've been single forever, college is messy. For me, I'd say my experience has been just that. Messy.
I've been in a relationship where long distance seemed to work out better than being close. Weird, right? I've been in a relationship that was the opposite as well. Nonetheless, romantic relationships in college can be stressful and may be distracting from what you're really at college for. Ultimately, it all depends on who you are, your standards, and how you see it. Go off of what works for you.
Teachers, Professors, and Advisors
The long-awaited rant about the relationships we form with the faculty in colleges has finally come to a start.
Everyone's experience with the faculty and teachers in their specific department may vary. It all depends. When it comes to how professors in college treat you, it can come across in many different ways. They can be extremely helpful and friendly, sometimes strict and unrelenting, nerdy know-it-alls, or unfortunately, ones that have no idea what they're doing. I've experienced my fair share of these types and it's been complicated to navigate.
I would like to say my current advisor is great and cares about how I'm doing in my classes, knows me well, and gives me advice about my future endeavors. But that's not the case. I've learned that it's up to me to ask him questions so that I don't end up making mistakes in my college career that might cost me. It sucks that I have to take this added responsibility on myself, but that's just how some advisors are. It strengthens me, yet points out a weakness among some faculty.
When it comes to professors, I've taken general education course with nicer and more well-informed teachers than the teachers in my department. But it's in a good way. The professors in my department are strict and very hands on. They make projects and assignments harder so that I'll be prepared for the real world, so I'll push myself, commit to hard deadlines and the frenetic environment of the entertainment industry.
I value the way they teach me because it boosts my confidence and delivers me constructive criticism on the daily. I'm in a space where my creative efforts are always being tested, and that encourages me to want to do better and succeed. It makes me more passionate about the field I'm in and the career I want to pursue.
While every professor has their strengths and weaknesses, I'm glad mine are where they are. Again, for others, it may be different. It all just depends and hopefully, you'll find a way to navigate it successfully.