Here it is. Freshman year of college. Many of us have just moved into our dorms and are trying to become accustomed to "college life" the best we can within the open week before classes begin. Some of you are spreading your wings and embracing the fact that you are FINALLY out of your parent's house and finally get to be your own person, while others of you reading this are in the ultimate struggle: being alone for the first time... EVER.
For those of you in the latter portion of my previous statement, do not be alarmed — so are THOUSANDS of people on the exact same campus. Including me.
As the Fall 2018 semester is quickly approaching, I am already on campus which means I am also already struggling. Growing up my parents were my only TRUE, BEST friends. The only two people who fully had my back and supported me no matter what. And now what? I moved nearly two hours away from them and I am completely culture-shocked. I came from a pretty small hometown and moved into a HUGE city onto an insanely large campus. How large? My entire high school had 778 students in it from 9-12th grades... my psychology class on LSU's campus has 733 students enrolled. This ONE class has nearly as many students as my ENTIRE high school!
This is very much an adjustment for me. Someone who tends to stick to herself now has to venture out and attempt to make friends with hundreds of new people after going to school with the same group of kids since elementary school. Crazy right?
But, the biggest adjustment will be learning to live without my parents by my side on a daily basis. The week prior to move-ins I admittedly cried EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. While some of you may laugh and think I am overreacting, while others are probably nodding their heads agreeing with me. And both of these are perfectly OK.
For the group that agrees, I know what you are feeling. You are sad, afraid, somewhat excited but more anxious than anything. All of these feelings are truly normal. Believe me.
If you think you are alone, you aren't. It is truly OK to have this mix of emotions that you don't fully know how to handle right now. It will get easier. And by easier, I do not mean you are going to forget what is happening around you, or forget the fact that you moved away from home because you won't. But, you will start becoming more comfortable with your new surroundings. You will begin making new friends and getting to know your new home.
This does not mean you can't have a break down every now and again, or frequently for that matter. It is normal to be upset about this new transition. It is healthy to cry things like this out, clear your head, and get out these internal frustrations. Cry it out, call your parents, have a moment, but remember you are not alone.
If you reach out to someone, anyone, chances are they will either be going through the same thing or understand how you are feeling. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there in order to talk to someone and get reassurance.
But always remember that things will get MUCH easier. Although when reading this you may think I am insane, but as an incoming college freshman, just like you, I can wholeheartedly say it will get better over time. Cliche? Maybe. Honest? 100%.