Although most seniors in high school spend their last few months of school anticipating leaving for college, I was a bit different. As much as I tried to get pumped for starting school in August, I remained anxious and nervous. When it was time for me to pack my bags and load up the car, I was confused as to why I didn’t feel an ounce of excitement. All of my other friends couldn’t wait to leave home - why didn’t I feel the same?
At first I was embarrassed to discuss certain struggles I had throughout my freshman year of college. I didn’t want people to know that the adjustment was hard for me or that I was constantly homesick. Most of my high school friends who had gone to different colleges were constantly posting Snapchat stories of them going to parties or big events, but I had no desire to go out during the week or even on the weekends. I preferred to go home on the weekends and spend time with my family. The first few weekends that I went home, I didn’t tell many people I was home because I was ashamed. The last thing I wanted people to think was that I was the kid who went home all the time. Regardless, I became that person who went home during weekends, and over time, I cared less what people thought about me.
In high school, people would typically deem me an extrovert; however, once college started, I became the complete opposite. I kept to myself, had a few close friends and regularly dodged conversation with others. I didn’t really recognize myself, and all I wanted was to be home with friends and family. I focused on schoolwork so much that it was impossible for me to have time for anything else. Since there was such a large concentration on school, that came with a lot of self-induced pressure. Anxiety and stress kept me from sleeping properly, and I would try to make the days go by as quickly as possible until it was Friday and I could come home to my family.
I never liked to talk about how my first year was a hard adjustment because I didn’t like to be different from all of my friends. I wanted to be the student who fit perfectly into their college and instantly felt comfortable. But I have learned that I take a while to adjust to new environments. Maybe my freshman year wasn’t the easiest, but I still learned a crazy amount since my first day. I’ve learned more about my school, my friends, my capabilities and myself. I would not change anything if I had the option to, and as my sophomore year approaches, I know that I’m going to start off stronger than ever. Struggling this year has helped me grow as a person and a student. Everyone reacts to new situations differently, and as much as I wished to be the girl who immediately felt right at home at her new school, that wasn't me. But that doesn’t mean it never will be.