When I thought about going to college, I was imagining myself meeting new people, joining awesome clubs, and getting the best grades of my life. The very first weekend before classes started was amazing.

I met a ton of new people and life was seemingly perfect. But, as the weeks went on, I found myself becoming very lonely. The friends I had met in the beginning were busy with their own lives, and I was stuck doing everything on my own. Even moments at the dining hall had seemed so lonely. I started to wonder if college was going to be awful forever, and if so, I was not ready for it.

I kept thinking to myself, why are movies and tv shows portraying college to potentially be the best years of my life, but I was feeling like they might be the worst? I was so stuck inside my head, and it wasn't getting any better. By the end of the first semester, I had very little friends and hadn't joined ANY clubs or organizations, and I had even received a 'C' in one of my classes.

I thought, maybe people just don't like me. Maybe I'm just too awkward for a university and I should have just attended a community college where I didn't have to talk to as many people. Maybe I'm just not smart enough for this career. I thought every semester after the first would be just as bad, if not worse.

Oh, how wrong I was.

When the second semester of college rolled around, I was ready to make some changes. I knew where I wanted to go and I knew in order to get there, I had to make things work.

During the very first week of college, I saw an ad for a new organization on campus. The claims they made on the poster were ideas that I was very interested in, so I decided to attend one of the meetings.

I can honestly say, this was one of the best decisions of my life.

As soon as I walked into this meeting, I felt welcomed. I felt loved. I felt heard. I felt seen. Every single person in that group had the same views as me, and they all seemed to be such positive influences. I just knew this was going to be the start of something amazing.

As the weeks went on, I continued to attend these meetings and even went out for coffee with the members of the club. I met some of the most genuine people in the world, and I knew I had found my place. I knew that I was home.

Fast forward seven weeks, and I've not only gone out with these gals on Friday nights, but I've sat around a table with them expressing to each other how happy we all are to have met at the beginning of the semester. Not only was my social life progressing, but my grades were the best they've ever been. My college experience was going exactly how I imagined it that first weekend of the previous semester. I started gaining so much self-confidence and there was positivity surrounding every area of my life.

I was finally happy.

So, here's some advice: When your first semester of college isn't going the way you had originally planned, don't give up. Just because you aren't thriving at the moment, doesn't mean you never will. If you continue to keep a negative mindset, you may never get the opportunity to experience college at its fullest potential.

College can be some of the best years of your life, but you just have to strive to make it so.

And I can confidently say, that's exactly what I did.