Freshman year starts, and I leave all my childhood friends to move to Morgantown, WV and attend West Virginia University. Band camp goes off without a hitch and classes begin. I meet my suitemates and my roommate, and we all get along wonderfully.
I perform with The Pride of West Virginia Marching Band, loving every tiring minute of it.
When everyone else goes out on the weekends to party, my roommate and I go on long adventures around town or stay in, make crafts, laugh, and watch movies. I don't have a ton of friends like everyone else and I'm homesick, but classes are going well and I'm starting to adjust to college life. Spring semester continues on in a similar fashion.
Then sophomore year begins. I move into a campus apartment with one of my suitemates from the previous year, and for about a month everything seems OK until everything starts to spiral out of control.
My roommate and I get in a fight and discover that we're not compatible roommates at all, so I request to move out. I meet with a new roommate who has a cat (yay!) and things seem like they'll work out.
I move all of my stuff with five duffle bags, all by myself, for three hours before finally giving in and asking my neighbors for help in exchange for pizza. As I start looking for my bed so that I can sleep, I glance over at the clock and see that it's 12:30 a.m. I have my first major test in my hardest class just hours away, and I haven't studied at all. Exhausted and stressed, I go to sleep on a mattress with no sheets in a room that looks like pure chaos.
The next day, I groggily take my test and sit with my new roomie for a while to chat. We get along well, but all day, I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that this won't be my new home.
A few weeks go by and my gut feeling proves right. My new roommate and I aren't good living companions either, and I call my mom crying almost every day. So I request a new room for the second time and meet with another potential roommate. Thankfully, this time, I am confident that things will work out.
I move all of my stuff again — with the help of some friends this time and a laundry cart that was available. Bless! I completely reorganize my new room and get situated.
During this period of high stress, I am sick constantly, and as I reach out to old friends, I hear nothing back. If I do hear from someone, it's them telling me that they're busy right now and maybe we can hang out another time. I am so incredibly lonely. I talk to maybe one person every day. I long for weekends to go home and see my family.
I join a group called The Martin Hall Agency, and I meet some awesome people who are now some of my best friends. These girls are people I know will always have my back, and I'm honored to have theirs. I also find out just how much I love my major in the process. This is one of the only things that gets me to Christmas break.
Realizing that I didn't want to live in this apartment building anymore and feeling terrified of random roommate matching after my initial experience, I post a desperate plea for PG-rated roommates that like Netflix and cats. I talk to a few potential roommates, but most of them stop replying after a few days. Finally, I get a message from a wonderful girl named Savannah.
We got along great right from the start, and I'm so happy to have met her. There is no one sweeter on the planet.
She mentions an all-girls fraternity that she's a part of and tells me I should really check it out. I tell her about my stressful experience with greek life my first year, and she assures me that this is different, so I tell her I'll think about it.
She also tells me about a writing platform called Odyssey at WVU that allows college students like myself to share their stories with the world. I apply shortly after and am welcomed by a supportive and loving community of people. I'm so happy to have met them.
We leave for Christmas break, sign our leases, and spring semester begins.
Classes are going well, but one day I notice that my chest feels kind of funny. I go see "The Greatest Showman" with some new friends anyway. The next day, I wake up so sick that I can barely walk around my apartment. I get a friend to take me to the doctor, find out I have the flu, get stuck at the doctor's office because of a massive snowstorm, and then am rescued by a twirling friend as my fever spikes again.
I am down for about two weeks, and just as I start to feel better, I get added to a group on Facebook for Sigma Alpha Iota's Spring recruitment. I am still weary, but I decide to give it a go.
I meet with some of the sisters and I talk to them about all of my concerns. Everyone I meet is so kind to me, and even though I am extremely nervous, I can't stop smiling most of the night. I attend my first karaoke night at Applebee's with all the sisters, and I'm sold. Ironically, I meet a wonderful girl there — who is now my big — and we become fast friends. I am so thankful for her and everything she does for me.
So now that you've read my story from my sophomore year of college, you may be asking, "Why is this relevant to me?" I wanted to share this story because there were a lot of times this semester that I wanted to give up. I considered online schooling to be closer to my family because I had no friends. I struggled to study for tests and assignments. I felt like crap all the time because the stress was wrecking havoc on my physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I felt like I was just merely surviving and that nothing would get better.
Except, as you can see, IT DID. It got better than it ever was before. Had I not pushed on through all of that stress and hardship, I wouldn't have met two of the best friends I've ever had, and I would never have had to opportunity to connect with even more people that support me and care about me.
After all that time, I convinced myself that even though everyone says you find your best friends for life in college, that just wasn't the case for me. I spent hours wondering why I wasn't a good enough person or a fun enough person for people to like me, but after this year, I've realized that I just hadn't found my people yet. I am so happy to say that I have now, and I can't wait to see what the future holds.
To anyone out there that's going through a rough day, week, or even year, remember to seek the help you need and to never give in. Better days are always just around the corner.
And being there to see those better days will be even better.