Even though it's hard for me to admit, being the overthinker that I am, there are definitely some things that I hadn't anticipated dealing with during the first week of college. Maybe my intention of posting this article is to help some other freshman in the same boat as me, or maybe I'm just venting (I'll let you decide). Here are a few things that I've recounted while sitting in the basement doing my laundry for the very first time.
1. Everyone is a little bit homesick.
Whether they care to admit it or not, almost every freshman is fighting through some kind of awkward feeling about leaving home. I'll be the first to admit I was shocked feeling even the slightest bit homesick; I'm the girl that's been telling everyone since I applied to a college that I would do nothing but shed tears of happiness as I drove out of my town for the last time. And I knew that while everything was just a great new experience and change, there was no denying the fact that it was hard to leave my close-knit family behind. It wasn't until I realized that almost everyone was feeling the same way, just not saying it out loud, that I could finally accept the fact that my "stomach ache" was really just me missing home-cooked meals and my brother's bad jokes.
2. Most people didn't make their "friend group" in the first week.
One of the most exciting things about coming into college, for me, was being able to make new friendships. But walking around on the first day and already seeing friend groups out doing things initially made me feel super insecure. What my small-town mentality hadn't allowed me to see was that half of the people on campus were coming in with a group of friends from high school already. And while many people were willing to go out of their way to make friends, a big majority was not. It's taken me a minute to realize that the friendships I make here aren't all going to emerge within the first week, month, or maybe even semester of being on campus. So to the people that came into college with a hundred other people from high school, don't forget to be open-minded to new friends (preferably me of course).
3. You don't have to be friends with people just because they live by you.
Coming in, everyone seems to think that anyone who lives in proximity to you should automatically become your best friend. In a perfect world, living on a floor with 15 of your best friends would be the ideal way to spend college, but so far I don't think it's going to happen. I realized very quickly that while we may have picked the same floor, we definitely wouldn't all get along. And while I was very lucky to make great friendships with my roommate and suitemate, you don't HAVE to be best friends, you just have to live together. So, if you feel like you're the only person who isn't getting along with your roommate or suitemates, don't fret. Just worry about coexisting rather than being their best friend.
4. Laundry sucks, but not that much.
Yes, it's hot in the laundry room. Yes, it's ridiculously packed at some hours. Yes, the final wash is loud and extremely annoying. But no, it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It's only fun to complain about it because on Sunday I know I'll be right back down there along with everyone else (at least I hope they're still doing it). At the very least make some laundry friends and finish some of the homework you've procrastinated all week.
5. AP high school classes are not equivalent to college classes.
Everyone always told me that college was a wake-up call for them academically. Of course, being the person that I am, I never really listened. In my mind, taking AP's in high school was the equivalent of a college class in every aspect. So from junior year of high school on, I loaded my schedule with tons of APs and worked extra hard to get great grades in preparation for college. However, after my first Chemistry lecture with 500 students, I quickly realized that there was a big difference between it and the AP Chemistry class I took senior year with my favorite teacher. No matter how smart, organized, or focused you were in high school, don't underestimate the work that goes into college classes.
6. Embrace the uncomfortable.
You don't have to commit to anything, but at least try new things!! You may never get the chance to take an opportunity or experience something the same ever again. The whole stereotypical freshman experience is supposed to put you out of your comfort zone, and as cheesy as it sounds, it will change you for the better if you're open to it (even just in the first week).
7. Do things strictly for the memories.
Even if your tired, homesick, busy, or any other excuse you can think of to get out of going somewhere, go anyways. All the events that are happening around campus will fill some of the extra time you have right off the bat, and who knows? Maybe you will spark an interest you didn't know you had, or meet people that you wouldn't have been able to otherwise. I know that half of the events my roommate and I went to we just joked about, but they gave us some memories from Welcome Week that we'll definitely laugh at later on.