Freshman year of high school sucks, but college is a different story. Your whole life is about to change, and in all honesty, no one has any idea what their getting themselves into. College is insane, and no one is going to have the same experience. However, there are a few stages a lot our fellow college freshman can relate to...

Stage 1: Excitement (Welcome Week)
College. COLLEGE. You finally get to live without your parents for the first time in your entire life, and so far, it seems like a blast. There’s plenty of new people to meet, a ton of new stuff to do, and no curfew. What’s not to like?

Stage 2: Panic (week after Welcome Week)
Classes start, and it hits you that you actually have to figure your life on your own. Even though you were sure you wouldn’t, you miss your mom way more than you expected to. And you are just realizing you haven’t had to make new friends since kindergarten, so ‘panic’ might be an understatement in that department.

Stage 3: Acceptance (Third week – Thanksgiving Break)
You've gotten through the most awkward part of the year, and you think you've got the most of it figured out. Yeah, sometimes you end up in the wrong classroom, but that happens to everyone. You’ve started to find your friend group, and start getting ideas of what you want to study. Parties are more fun, people are decent, and things are starting to make a little more sense.

Stage 4: Stress (Finals Week)
You thought high school finals were bad? HA. True, you’re taking fewer classes, but HS finals weren’t worth 40% OF YOUR FINAL GRADE. Outside of AP season, you have not known the academic stress or the temptation of procrastination that arises with this week of Hell.

Stage 5: Melancholy (winter break)
Finals week is over (FINALLY), and now it’s time to go back home for break. You need a break from school, and you can’t wait to go home and see your dog. You’ll finally get to catch up with your high school BFFs and hear about their college lives. But a few days in, you start missing your college friends, and realize that home is kind of, well, boring, especially if your break is over a month long. No, you don’t really miss the homework, but there’s not much to do outside of work. By the end of break

Stage 6: Second Wind (Beginning of Semester to Finals Week)
This is just a genuinely happy feeling. You’re back on campus, and are so ridiculously excited to see all your friends, which you feel like you’ve known for years. This time, you know what to expect, so you’re way less anxious than last semester. You get new classes and new people to meet, and are far more prepared for what’s to come.

Stage 7: Stress pt. 2 (week before and week of Finals Week)

This is when you realize that you have a lot more to think about than you realized. Finals are stressful enough, but now you have to coordinate how to get all your stuff moved back home; there’s no way it’s going back all in one trip. Not to mention that you won’t see 75% of your friends nearly as much as you’d like. On the other hand, you’ll probably have a summer job, which’ll be good, and you do get to de-stress a little. But for now, you’re going a little insane.

Stage 8: Contentment (Moving-Out Day)

You did it. You made it through the first year. There’s been a lot of highs, and a lot of lows, but overall, it was probably the best time of your life. College was nothing like you expected it to be; it’s so, so much better.