I drove onto the campus of Butler with high hopes for a bright future. Not only was I excited to be on my own like a real adult, but ready to take classes I WANTED to take and make tons of cool, new friends. I was told "Welcome Week" was where you would meet your college bestie, and that Butler University was the best place to be.
Well, it wasn't.
At least, for a while. I was homesick, I hadn't met any new friends, and I was struggling through my Chemistry class. Not to mention, everyone else seemed to be having the time of their life; going out with their new friends making memories that I couldn't seem to make. I would spend my nights eating Ritz Crackers from the sleeve while watching "The Office" in my room because I was afraid to eat at the dining hall alone. I felt so far removed. And when other people were sad to leave their friends for Thanksgiving break, I couldn't wait to get the heck out of dodge. I had seriously considered the possibility of transferring at the semester; not ever wanting to go back to Indianapolis.
This all changed for me when I returned for the spring semester.
I joined a sorority, spent less time in my room and more time out at Starbucks with my friends, took classes that I enjoyed, and found organizations to get involved in. The weather got nice, and I found myself sitting out on campus for hours with friends just hanging out. I came out of my shell and started going out of my way to get to know people I hadn't had the courage to before. When the time came for me to move out of Ross Hall (RIP), I couldn't help but be sad when looking at the dusty, empty room of 397. The room I had made so many memories in, had so many laughs in, and the place that had opened up to me and become my home. As I shut the door for the last time and walked away, said goodbye to my friends, I felt confused... but in the best way. How could a place I hated so much, have become a place I didn't want to leave?
To all the incoming freshman I have a few words. For some of you, you will find your friends the first week of school and love it from the start. Your first year of college may be the best year of your life, and you won't even have a clue about the feelings I have described in this article.
BUT... for most of you, the first semester will be harder than you think. I spent so much time trying to make my life look happy on social media, and let everyone think I was having the time of my life. It is a big adjustment, and if you don't feel attached to your school by the time Christmas comes, you are NOT alone. Not everyone falls in love with their school in the beginning; that comes along once you meet the people that make it so special. No matter where you go to school, it isn't the school that you will love... it is the people who go there who will make it feel like home.
So, give it some time. There will be days where you feel like leaving and never coming back, but take this advice from someone who now has days where I never feel like leaving. Have fun, study hard, drink more tea and less coffee, go to the gym as often as you can, and put yourself out there. Most people are going to be feeling just as lonely as you. Who knows, sometimes all it takes is a "Want to walk to class together?", or "Do you want to grab lunch?" to meet some of your very best friends.