College. It's supposed to be the best four years of everyone's life, right? College is the place where your life really starts. It's where you make lifelong friendships, discover your dreams, and go out into the real world to make your mark. Why, then, have your first few months of college felt so hard?
Being a college freshman is hard. For most, it's the first time you've ever truly been on your own without the comforts of home, and no matter how much you psych yourself up, the transition from high school to college is scary, uncomfortable, and sometimes just plain miserable. The food in the dining hall is never satisfying, those pre-requisite classes are insufferable, and even after two months you still don't feel like you've found your niche on campus. Can't you just catch a break?
Luckily, it's finally that time of year where you're given a chance to breathe - Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the first real break that college students get, and it's always welcomed with open arms. An entire week of home cooked meals, sleeping in your own bed, and not having to wear shower shoes in the bathroom - it sounds like paradise.
But while Thanksgiving break is a well-deserved vacation from the grind of college, try not to look at your week off as an escape from the last two months. Instead, see it as a celebration of all that you've accomplished. Be proud of how much you've endured these past two months. It's not easy being on your own for the first time. In fact, it's probably one of the hardest things you've ever had to do. But look at you, you're alive and you're continuing to rise each day and keep on doing what you've got to do. When life feels like it's too much, or when you get those feelings of homesickness or angst, remember how far you've come, and remember that a break is coming for you soon.
Remember that things take time. Friendships and relationships aren't formed in a day, dreams aren't met in a year, and new possibilities arise each day. You've been away for two months, not nearly enough time to establish yourself in your new environment. Life is going to be uncomfortable now, and that's OK. The key is to accept that discomfort and to keep being positive anyways. This is the time where you struggle and learn from your hardships because the best really is yet to come. I know how frustrating it can to be told, "Don't worry, things will get better!", but the only advice I can give is to just have faith and keep an open mind. When you feel at your lowest, remember that you've got nowhere to go but up.
And you're only a freshman! A freshman in your first semester of college, no less. You have so much time to change and grow and figure things out and get settled. These past few months and the next few months to come are probably the most uncomfortable of your entire life, but you'll get through them just like the thousands of other college freshmen going through the exact same thing. You've got this.
So this Thanksgiving, be thankful that you made it to Thanksgiving break. It really is a big milestone. And if when you get back to campus you're feeling like your stuck in a rut again, just remember that the holidays are right around the corner.