Since being home from school, I constantly get asked the same question: "How was your first year of college?" And there is no better answer than, "Freshman year of college was the best and worst time of my life." Literally.
Those nine months can feel like a lifetime due to all the social and academic pressures being thrown at you from all directions. And a lot of the time, it can feel like you're walking blindly through it all. There are not any distinct moments when that first year is strictly your worst or strictly your best. More so, these best and worst moments and feelings run simultaneously, because life is constantly happening around you that you may not even get the chance to process it all.
You're no longer surrounded by the people you've grown up with. You have people from all over the world and from different walks of life. This is a time when you're finally learning who your real friends are and who's out to hurt you. Even the trust of your oldest friends are put through the ringer, and maybe they don't even make it. You are exposed to experiences that may or may not have been presented to you ever before. Some of the people that you encounter this first year could possibly be in your life forever.
Attractive boys are a thing now and they're noticing you! Which is so cool, until they sell you a dream that they can't even afford, or they've told you and four of your friends that they've "never met a girl as perfect as you."
For a lot of people, the challenges faced are of maturity and independence, like grocery shopping on your own with the little money you have or simply remembering that the clothes go in the machine before you put in the coins.
With all this freedom comes a lot of free time, so learn to use it wisely! Don't sleep through your classes because attendance isn't mandatory or because your parents aren't on you to get to class. Manage your time wisely or else you'll sleep your first year away and won't make any good use of it. Study a little each day so you're not stuck pulling all-nighters feeling like the world is going to end if you don't pass this class.
This is also a major time for self-discovering. You will begin to question who you are and who you want to be. All of this self-realization can open up a lot of sadness and confusion for many. Things that you once thought were true about yourself and the people around you could completely shatter before your eyes and never be the same. And that's okay. That's what living life and learning is all about.
There will be plenty of times when the pressures and expectations will really make you question if it's even worth it. And honestly, who knows? The good and bad will come, so don't be afraid to embrace all that comes with it.