As a second semester freshman at Temple University, I am faced with expectations of partying, taking easy classes, and just having fun before college gets serious. I feel like we're all expected to go through this phase; it's like a rite of passage.
I should be right in the middle of this phase, but I'm not. I feel like I just skipped right over it. And let me tell you, it's an isolating feeling. Even though I feel like I'm alone, I can't possibly be the only one here who can't relate to the other students around them.
I put a lot of time into my academics. Yes, the early on gen-eds and introductory courses are easy, but I still want to do well and I have some other classes that require more effort. I have only been to one party since being here and I didn't really like it. I spend a lot of my free time alone, reading, listening to podcasts, and watching movies. I'm planning for my future and trying to find opportunities to build my resume and figure out where I'll be after undergrad.
Maybe I'm a little ahead of myself, but I would much rather spend my time doing things that matter than forcing myself to fit in by doing something that I don't even enjoy.
I have been told before that I'm more mature than other people my age, and that I'm probably going to feel pretty lonely until everyone catches up to me. I don't take that as being better than anyone. Believe me, I would much rather be able to relate to other young college students, but I just don't. I definitely feel like a weirdo sometimes.
I have a lot of acquaintances that I say hello to when I see them on campus, but no real friends that I spend time with and feel like I connect with. As much as I feel alone, I know I can't be the only one. Not every college freshman parties and isn't worried about anything. Not every college freshman is the stereotype. But it seems to be really hard to find people like me, people who keep to themselves and spend a lot of time alone.
The purpose of my message here is that you are not alone, even if you feel like you are. If you relate to this in any way, you aren't the only one. People who feel the same way are just hard to find.
This is a message to myself just as much as it's to you. It's time to push ourselves to find each other. Push ourselves to step out of our comfort zone and really put ourselves out there to find the people we truly connect with. Social connection can be prioritized in the busy lifestyle that college students live.
You're not alone.