College Will Change You, And That's OK

College Will Change You, And That's OK

The awful truth is that college will suck the life right out of you sometimes, but how you learn from it and move on is what will define your success.
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Going to college is a weird experience. You leave home and go to a brand-new place, and you are expected to live there for the next four years. Your first roommate could be a stranger. So many possible ways that it could go wrong... and you are expected to not freak out. I certainly did.

Freshman year, I began studying computer science, a field that I knew nothing about. I did not know anyone on campus. My family was also moving, which meant that I would have a new ‘home’ to go to. It was the biggest change I had experienced in life so far. I felt completely lost. My roommate was super sweet, I made amazing friends, and I started dating my first real boyfriend. I joined an amazing sorority.

But despite all of that, I was constantly thrown in this loop of “Who am I?". In high school, I sang in choirs and performed in musicals. I listened to music and played video games when I had the time, though mostly I worked on homework and studied. I was in honors and AP classes and doing well in them. I walked out the door every morning with my hair in a messy bun – no effort required.

Now I'm in college, and I don’t have the chance to sing anymore. I don't have time to play video games. I’m stuck in classes that are unlike anything I have had before. I stress about my looks. I straighten my hair every day and put on makeup that I used to not even know existed. Everything was different, and before I knew it, I was drowning. I fell behind in my classes because I was stuck in my head.

I don't remember freshman year that well. I started classes with excitement and adrenaline but ended on academic probation. I went from first honors to failure. This failure was devastating, but it was important in my growth as a person. Winter break gave me a lot of time to reflect on myself, and I knew what to do.

It took a lot of analyzing my situation to figure out how to fix the hole I had dug myself into. I had to look at my past to see what I had done before. I remember the summer after high school graduation being the best time of my life. Why was that? It was a combination of confidence and freedom. I no longer cared what others thought of me. I officially knew where I was headed, and it gave me the ability to start being myself. I was ready to move on. I was on top of the world and nothing could hold me back.

These thoughts helped me to find what I had to do. I went back to wearing sweatpants and feeling confident. I put my headphones in for my walk to class, and the music was the soundtrack of my life. Spring semester of my first year, I was a different person. I was able to keep up in classes and stay on top of the game. At the end of the year, I was off probation and then some. This began my climb to where I am now.

I am now a Junior, and I’m proud to say that college has changed me. It has given me independence, responsibility, and the chance to rediscover the woman I am. I feel confident in my own skin. I feel confident in my knowledge. I have found the strength to move on from the challenging transition into college life. At the end of the day, I’m depending on myself for happiness. College has given me that luxury.

For all of you who are stuck in the semester you want to forget or the year you don’t know how to move on from, take the time for YOU. The awful truth is that college will suck the life right out of you sometimes, but how you learn from it and move on is what will define your success. Free yourself from the past and move on.

Figure out what you wish you had. List the factors of your personality and history to answer the question "What makes me... me?". Don’t be afraid to lay it all down on that list. Maybe you have strayed from the person you used to be but remember that you can’t lose who you are forever. Never be afraid to get help if you don’t know where to go or what to do. You will thank yourself later, I promise. You are amazing. You will rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

Cover Image Credit: Kate Lorenzen

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Here's What Happens When All Of Your Friends Have Babies

All of my friends back home are married with children. No, really, they are.

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Over the past few months, three of my friends have shared their pregnancy news with me, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Baby news always stirs up a range of emotions for me. I'm excited and crying happy tears (no joke, I started to cry when my best friend told me and showed me her ultrasound).

Being "Auntie Meg" brings me such great joy. You see, I absolutely adore children, especially my friend's kiddos. They can easily brighten up my day with their giggles, love you, and their goodbye kisses & waves. I absolutely love getting to be "Auntie Meg"; it could potentially be my favorite role to fill.

I don't think I've ever loved human beings more than I love these babies. These are kiddos I would do almost anything for; they truly have my whole heart and I couldn't be more thankful for each and every one of them. I've loved getting to watch my friends grow into incredible parents.

I love getting to be one of the biggest cheerleaders for my friends and their kids. Listen, I can't wait for the day when they are older and are asking to come over more and spend time doing fun things with auntie Meg. I can't wait to watch them grow and I can't wait to be able to come alongside them and be a shoulder to cry on and one of the loudest voices cheering them on (Next to mom and dad, of course).

While there is just so much good about your friends growing up and having children of their own, if you are not careful, it can also fuel a person's self-doubt.

It can bring up questions like, "am I good enough?", "what is wrong with me?", "why am I not where they are at?" I would be lying if I said that I have never thought or felt these things, but here's the thing: you are good enough, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, and their path is not your path; you will get there when you get there.

Those things are so important to remember in times when you begin to doubt yourself or your worth.

Believe me, you are good enough, there is nothing wrong with you, and that is not the path you need to be on at the moment. This is a great time for you to focus on you and the things you want out of life. What are your goals? What is on your bucket list? Just because you don't have the things your friends have, doesn't make your life any less fulfilled than theirs is. Your life is just as wonderful and fulfilling as theirs is, just in different ways.

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