I'm very alone. At least it feels that way sometimes.
Sometimes we are so focused on being happy, on living the ideal "college" life, that its suffocating. I don't live that life I had so wished and pictured for myself, not even in the slightest. This picture perfect expectation everyone has of you to fulfill is too much and all you can do is try your best to hide it. It doesn't help that you feel trapped, 24/7, every time you pick up your phone. Its always there, loudly shoved into your face, and etched into your mind, of what you are supposed to be doing. There is something wrong with you.
There is something wrong with you.
Again and again.
This generation's idea of life has drastically shifted due to the ever booming and growing social media empire. In order to be deemed as any bit of successful in living a "perfect" life, there needs to be a clever caption, hundreds of likes, and a portrayal of all the fun to be had. However that may be depicted, the obsession only grows more and more addicting, each post being better than the last.
Its not lying, not exactly. But its not the whole truth either. Social media has distinct advantages--networking and connecting with family, newsfeed and national information, even meeting new people. Its a way to show off what has been happening in life with status updates, pictures, and likes.
The thing we often forget is that social media is not real life. Its not reality. Social media is the representation of the carefully selected and chosen moments each person wishes to portray about themselves. It is up to them to decide what exactly and who exactly they are shown to be--their interests, their adventures, their personality. Yes, it is a great platform to show your true self for sure--but only if thats your best traits you are showing.
Being unhappy is okay. Being sad is okay. Being confused is okay.
Its so easy for me to look at a friend from home and their latest night out, with their new big group of friends, and see how much fun their having. I can see that they are having the time of their lives, smiling and laughing, and they are happy. They are living the "college" life.
Its not like that for all of us. I'm so so happy for them. I am glad they found their home at their school, met some awesome people they connect with, and are going to parties and formals and exploring cities.
This is for the kids who aren't there yet.
This is for the kids who sit in their rooms each night. Who eat every meal alone. Who go to class and like it because otherwise they would be bored. Who miss home. Who wish they were with their family. Who wonder about their college decision. Who want coffee dates. Who want late night adventures in the city. Who want to cruise through the mountains. Who want to go out for parties. Who don't have friends to do any of this with. Who sleep too much. Who don't sleep enough. Who talk to themselves. Who cry a lot. Who think too much. Who don't think enough. Who question their past. Who doubt their future. Who feel numb.
You can say it'll be all be okay one day. But that day isn't today. Or tomorrow. Or even a year from now. And you don't want to wish your life away but you don't want to live this one anymore. You want to fast forward to next year, maybe you'll have good friends then. You want this to be over with. You want to be older, wiser. You want to have what you want.
This is for the kids like me.
Yes I know you're surprised. Because it looks like I'm having so much fun where I'm at and that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be. Thats not the truth though.
And I think thats something you'll never hear a college student tell you--that they feel like they don't belong. They feel like something is missing. They feel like something is wrong with them. I sure as heck have tried to hide it, because I feel like I'm letting everyone down, myself included.
Their life looks great online. It seems like they are keeping busy and keeping up good grades. But nothing is ever as it seems. It might all look "happy", but I'm feeling the exact opposite.
And this is a reality for so many that goes unnoticed, unsaid, and unrecognized. Not to say everyone goes through this, a lot are lucky, and know right off the bat. I thought I did. I love my school and my campus and I don't want to go anywhere else. But its lonely. This transition is so much harder in a way I never imagined.
Theres not really anything to do about it--you've dreamed about this for years. You've wanted this your whole life. You've done everything you could to get here. Now what? When you realize this isn't exactly what you imagined, what you had hoped for, and you don't even know if you'll get what you want anywhere else. I mean, I can't do anything else except wait. Wait for the wind to change. Wait for the seasons to pass. Wait for something.
Theres only hope that next semester will be better. That your new classes bring new people. That a new year brings new opportunity.
Until then, paddle on, against the current, row and row, and don't give in to life's crazy ways. One day, you will look back on everything and be able to say, "I think I did alright."