It's OK If College Doesn't Feel Quite Like Home

It's OK If College Doesn't Feel Quite Like Home

I can guarantee you that you're not alone.

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Going away to college is a funny thing. For me, it meant ending up at a four-year University that I was almost certain I would not attend. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Clemson fan through and through. But my heart always told me that I wasn't meant to end up there.

My mom went to Clemson alongside two of my aunts some odd years ago. They absolutely thrived there. They were both in tri-delts and knew every single girl that lived in their hall. There wasn't a party that went on in Clemson that these two didn't know about. They were unstoppable.

A few years later, my uncle went to Clemson and eventually, my older brother ended up there as well two years before I did. I felt like my family had established their legacy. There were so many stories for everyone to tell, and I absolutely loved to hear them. But, I felt like I wanted to make my own mark somewhere else. I wanted to have my own stomping grounds and my own neat places to brag about. I craved individuality.

As my high school career ended, I had a much harder time choosing where I wanted to go off to college than I thought I would have. I ended up staying home for a year and going to a local technical school while prolonging the inevitable. It didn't help much.

I applied to a number of places, and Clemson was one of them (obviously). See, I had never completely ruled it out. Even though I was afraid to live another four years in the shadow of my family's greatness, it was the sense of comfort that drew me to apply to a school I already knew.

I had walked the grounds of tiger town so many times. At football games, visiting my brother, friends who lived in the horseshoe, you name it. I loved Clemson. I just wasn't sure that it was the right place to call home.

And that's when I figured it out.

Where you go to college doesn't have to feel quite like home.

When you first get there, it's not going to. Somebody has got to give out the tough love here. It's going to be weird. There's going to be a new smell, a new air conditioner to get used to, and a new mattress that doesn't already have a cozy indentation of your body.

There will be new people, new restaurants to make your regular spots, and new sights to see.

It's going to be a whirlwind. You'll make it your own in so many ways. You'll find your favorite spot in the library to study. You'll find out which classmates to befriend for help with your statistics homework. You'll easily weave in and out of campus foot traffic in no time, and know which sorority sisters need to be avoided at all costs.

And you'll be okay. Even if all of this new knowledge and all of these new places doesn't feel like home. Because it doesn't have to. You can make a new normal for yourself during the year, then go right back to where your heart is happiest during the summer.

This time is fleeting. You won't feel like you're on this deserted island forever. You won't have to listen to 50-minute lectures that feel more like a 4-hour opera. You're going to grow. You're going to move on. You're going to always know where your heart is the happiest. And that place isn't going to go anywhere.

So, if it isn't your school, don't panic. It's not that way for everyone and nobody really is going to blame you. Because even the people who paint up for every football game still miss their mommies when they get a bellyache.

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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Toughing It

A few words about overcoming a rough patch.

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Nobody's perfect. Things can be going beautifully, and all of a sudden become very messy. Not everything is going to go over smoothly, but that's expected. People get stressed, and they overreact. How you handle these situations is what truly matters.

I've seen it all. I've seen people leave these occurrences behind them and move on with their lives as normal, picking up right where they'd left off. I've seen people bottle their emotions in, and not communicate their feelings. I've seen people communicate their feelings to others, but not reach out to the person they're actually upset with in order to resolve a problem. I've seen people be outright nasty for no reason. I've seen people act quite maturely, but I've also seen people act in ways I thought only occurred in middle school.

I'm the type of person who faces things head-on. If I'm upset about something involving someone, he/she will hear it directly from me. I don't like leaving issues to brew, so I tend to directly confront people. That's not exactly everyone's prerogative, but hey - they're not me. Everyone handles their situations differently... some haven't exactly made the choices I would make, but hey - I'm not them.

Some find success in being more passive. But this has two different outcomes - either it gets dropped completely, or it brews. The first is an easy way for everyone to move on. The latter is a disaster waiting to happen. If you feel like something is only gaining steam, then ignoring the issue may not be the best idea. That balloon will eventually burst, and the result will not be pretty. At all.

In resolving an issue, you may just have to take a second and think about whether or not it's actually worth drawing out. If the issue doesn't actually pertain to you, drop it. I cannot stress that enough. If you were not directly involved in something, you have absolutely no place to judge. The best idea, in this case, would be to just accept the fact that things don't always go the way you want them to.

They don't always go as planned, either. If this involves a friend, think about how important that friendship is to you, and whether or not drawing things out that don't involve you is worth risking that friendship. Honestly, actually drawing it out will not only make you look immature but may also come across as you questioning your friend's character... and believe me - that is not worth it. You choose who you surround yourself with, and you chose these people for a reason. Remember that.

These things are going to happen. There are going to be rough patches. There are going to be things that people do that you don't always like and/or agree with. There are going to be things that happen that you can't wrap your head around. But at the end of the day, it's the way you handle it that people will remember.

If you messed up, own up to it. I know - much easier said than done. But taking responsibility will maintain the respect others have for you and will keep your maturity and integrity intact. If someone takes responsibility, don't draw it out. Trust me - it's not worth it. That will only dig the hole deeper, and then you're in an even rougher patch that will be even more difficult to work through.

Not everyone operates the same way. This is to be taken into account for not only what you're handling, but also the way things are handled. People aren't always going to do things you would necessarily do, and they won't always handle it the way you might've chosen to. It takes a lot of acceptance, open-mindedness, forgiveness, and patience. Much easier said than done, but definitely more worthwhile in the end.

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