Everyone comes to college having the highest of expectations. All the movies about that first year of college when the characters go to the best parties, meet their best friends that they will have forever, and find the love of their life are so ingrained in our minds that it makes us expect these things automatically. And maybe you are one of the few that have encountered and crossed off all these things, but many don't.
Like most, I expected to have this picture perfect year. Spoiler alert: I didn't. I'm not saying that I didn't have a great year because it was pretty good, but it definitely didn't exceed my high expectations.
That's okay. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not having the best first year. After all, the environment that everyone is just thrown into is completely different from anything that anyone has ever experienced. It is very similar to a sleep-away camp but with the school part in the mix, it adds much more stress. Not only do you have to keep up with a very difficult workload, but you also have to maintain a social life, which is easily just as difficult as the school work.
College is nothing like high school. I was never one that struggled much with making friends because I am a talker. Whenever I run into someone I know, they usually expect to be talking to me for a while. Once you get me started, I don't stop. In high school, I always talked to the people around me. So much so, that sometimes I would get in trouble for it. The number of classes I didn't talk in, I can count on one hand.
In college, it's more difficult to do that. If you attend a smaller school with smaller classes, it's easier to make friends. But, I do not go to a small school nor do I take classes with less than 50 people in them. In these large lecture classes, I don't have time to be chatting it up with my neighbors. There's too much information that I have to learn and too many notes to be taken in 50 minutes that if I tune out for split second, I miss something important.
Instead of making many friends right away, it became more of a challenge to make them and keep them. After realizing that making friends became a new struggle, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was something that stressed me out more than school. I couldn't believe that I was having trouble making friends. Me, of all people! This new-found stress affected me big time, and it almost ruined my year. Suddenly, I began to question everything about myself. Then, I was reminded of something that is extremely important: it's not the quantity that matters, it's the quality.
Once the semester ended, posts flooded all of my social media feeds from people expressing how great of a freshman year they had and how they can't wait to go back. Seeing these posts upset me. Why didn't I feel the same way? What we all have to remember is that the ones who feel the same as I do don't post. They don't express their love for their freshman year because, well, why would they?
There are so many people out there that don't have the best freshman year and I want to remind them that there is nothing wrong with that. Things can only get better. My advice is to let everything happen the way it's supposed to. I know it's cheesy, but everything really does happen for a reason, so try your best to have as positive of an outlook as you can.