I always dreamed that college would be where I finally found my place. I spent all of sophomore and junior year researching and working to find the “perfect” school that would give me exactly what I wanted and everything I didn’t know I needed. This is why it came as such a shock to me that I didn’t find that at all. Instead, I found cold hallways and forced conversations. Where I thought there would be intellectual chats over coffee, in its place stood stumbled words in a stingy basement. College was supposed to be a haven for intellectual development, and instead it turned out to be a wasteland. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I had no idea why the place I had always felt so right about suddenly felt so wrong.

College makes me feel invisible in the worst way. It makes me angry, and passionate, and lonely. It makes me thrilled, and comforted, and sometimes even excited. But it never makes me feel content. I never feel truly alive. I don’t feel happiness bursting inside of me, like I have before. I don't remember the last time I walked outside here and felt loved and welcomed. For the first time in a long time, I was so ashamed of my body that I left an event early. I was so insecure about my appearance that it consumed my every waking thought until I was praying to leave. Honestly, I wish I could explain why I feel this way, but I am at a loss. And though I never thought that high school would seem like a walk in the park, I would gladly take my upstate classroom over whatever this is. Maybe I just haven’t found my place on the campus. Maybe I’m in the wrong place entirely. It could just be a fluke and next year I’ll find a friend or two and it will be okay. But right now I’m lost.

In the simplest of terms, college isn’t like what I thought. This college in particular isn’t at all what I had anticipated. What makes the least amount of sense is that I have everything I ever could have wanted. I have fantastic roommates, decent scholarships, great professors and grades–plus I’m in the honors program. From the outside looking in, it is the perfect scenario. So why do I feel worse than ever? I keep trying my best to change my situation, but I can’t shake the feeling that this isn’t what I wanted. The jury’s still out on whether that could be a blessing in disguise or a nightmare waiting to strike. Today, I can only pray that I will somehow make it through these years still intact–with more than a shred of the person I used to be.