We live in a society where going to college is often viewed as the peak moment of freedom and thrill in a young person's life. That said, I've gotta be honest, I hated college for my entire first semester. There was a time during my senior year of high school when I thought I'd definitely be ready to start a new chapter of life come August, but that excitement was long gone in the weeks leading up to my departure.
I think a lot of it comes down to kids being excited to gain freedom and distance from their parents when they go off to school. I, on the other hand, felt like I had plenty of freedom and wasn't really looking for anymore. And I didn't want to leave my family. And I'm not a fan of change. And, like the brilliant person I am, I had just started dating someone who was going to a different university. All of these factors created the perfect storm, leaving me distraught in the weeks leading up to move-in, and in the many weeks that followed. Despite meeting people I love and am close with to this day, that first semester was hard, and there were many nights where I had a good, long, hopefully quiet (otherwise I owe my roommate an apology) cry before bed. However, once spring arrived, I started to warm up (lol) to my new surroundings.
Full disclosure, I was still planning on transferring to a different school for the rest of college, but I ended up being really thankful when that didn't pan out. So, what changed, you might ask? I adjusted, the homesickness ebbed, and I was able to finally take in all the opportunities I had ignored or overlooked through my doom and gloom. During my sophomore year, I became more deeply involved in the one club I had bothered to join, rushed a service sorority, changed my major, and landed a job at the University Writing Center.
I can't imagine what my life would look like if I had transferred or dropped out altogether, but there was a time when both of those felt like better options than staying. There are people who go to college and genuinely do come to find that it's simply not for them — and more power to those people. But if you're like me and know that college probably is for you, but for some reason you just aren't enjoying yourself, please know that you're not alone. There's a good chance that it'll get better, and you may even start to love it, some of us just take a bit longer to adapt to big life changes. For those of you who haven't gone to college yet: go in with an open mind, and be willing to give yourself some time to adjust if it's needed. For all the time I spent wanting to be anywhere but at college, now I can't imagine having to leave.