Having a Strong Support System while away at College

Having A Strong Support System While In College

"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out" ~Walter Winchell

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Going away to college can be a scary part of anyone's life, but especially for those who are moving many miles away from their family and friends. For me, coming to Shippensburg this spring was both exciting and crazy because I would be finally away, getting the best education towards becoming a teacher, but it would also mean being away from those who have been there for me every step of the way. If anything, the process of going away to college has helped me find out who my true support system is and how much they truly care about me.

An example of this is my parents, who have shown me so much love and support through this difficult process. From trying to pick classes and crying on video call about being homesick, they have been there for me every step of the way. I always know they are a phone call away and that if I needed them for an emergency, they would be here in a heartbeat to help me.

Another important factor of my support system would be my crazy group of friends. I have had many people ask me why I left my home in New Jersey and left all my true friends there. The answer is simple; I wasn't friends with them until after I had applied to Shippensburg and I knew that they would still be my friends even if I was away at college or still home with them. Knowing that I can text them as well about my problems and still have our late night video calls makes me know that it will be okay while I am here. Making plans for spring break has been nothing but fun because we have so many ideas of things to do. When I am home for spring break, I want to be surrounded by love and support.

But not just my friends at home are part of my support system, but also my new friends here at Shippensburg has helped me with adjusting and being homesick. Without having them to help, I am sure I would be more of a hermit, sitting in my room all the time and not socializing outside of my room. It is amazing knowing that I can go to any meal with someone and being around others who have gone through the same thing I am going through now. They have been so nice and supportive to me and I am happy to have them as my friends.

Some may think this is crazy but my dog is also an important member of my support system because she is my cuddle buddy. When I am with her, I am happy and seeing her when I come home for spring break will be an amazing thing because she is going to be so excited to see me walk through those doors. I can already picture her little nub going and being so excited.

Having this support system has helped make this experience better because I know they are cheering for me at home and are excited to see me when I get home. Having a support system when away at college is super important because, without it, you would begin to miss the comfort of your home and wish you were there. You wouldn't know quite why you went away to college and what you are even doing here. When I question why I am away at college, I will call either family members or friends and they tell me why I am here. They show me that I am here for my education and for my degree. Becoming a teacher is something I have wanted to do since working in a Before and After Care Program back in New Jersey. Being around children helped show me even more so that I wanted to be a part of them growing and showing them that there is so much to learn in the world.

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To The Girl Who Always Feels Left Out

Maybe next time...
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To the girl who always feels left out,

Girl, let me just tell you, I know the feeling. It feels as though my whole life, I have been that girl. You know that feeling when you are standing in a group of people and someone comes up and asks everyone to go to lunch in that group... But you?

Or they make it even worse by saying "Oh, I guess you can come too." You guess I can come to?

No, thank you.

At that point, you feel like the only reason you are being invited is that they feel like they have to. Which more than likely is actually the case. What about when you ask your friend to hang out and she can't because she will be doing homework all night? However, an hour later, you see her with your other best friend. Oh okay cool, sorry for bothering you with my friendship.

You know you are the girl who is always left out when you are the designated "photographer" or you have to specifically ask if you can take a picture with them because they are obviously done taking pictures and did not want one with you.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who 'Float' Between Friend Groups

We all know "Hey, will you take this picture of us?" all too well. Am I right, ladies? Oh yeah, it is fine. I hate being in pictures. I definitely hate taking pictures to remember this wonderful time I'm having.

What about when you and your friends discuss doing something later during the week and you ask about it but "It's probably not happening anymore." Then you check and would you look at that, your "friends" are having fun without you.

Shocker.

Oh but don't worry about it, I had things to do anyway. You know, clean the house, work on homework that is due next week, binge-watch The Office for the third time this week. Fun stuff. Oh and better yet when you see your friends are hanging out without you. The next time they see you, they talk about how much fun they had.

Oh yes, please tell me about how much fun you had without me. I totally enjoy hearing about how "I totally missed out" and "I should have come." Well, an invite would have been well appreciated. But maybe next time, right? Wrong.


Yeah, I know what you are thinking, "Wow this girl is being so petty." Well if you are thinking that, then you obviously do not know the feeling. And to think about it, you probably are not the one in the friend group who is being left out. So think about who that person is and make them feel included next time. It would be greatly appreciated. You do not know how much of a difference it could make.

Yes, I know everyone feels left out sometimes, but time after time, it starts to get really old. Then after you have to start inviting yourself to hang out with people, you realize well since they are not inviting me themselves, maybe they don't want me here. And then surprisingly, you stop hanging out with them. Hmmm, I wonder what could've possibly happened.


Yes, I know, most people do not do this on purpose. I am sure I have even done it once or twice without realizing it, and I am truly sorry.

From one left out girl to another,

Good Luck

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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The Shape Of The Monster: Depression

The second piece in a series about mental illness.

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The last thing I want to do is glorify mental illness, give it a platform, give it a name. But I need to talk about it, to work through it, to show that it's something many people experience.

It goes like this.

Hey! Sorry I haven't called you back. Everything has been so busy.

Every time I think about even picking up the phone and calling you, something heavy but familiar sets in my stomach like a weight.

You know how things get.

You know how easy it is to want to slip into absolute nothingness, right?

I've been trying to write, but my writer's block has been limiting me a lot.

Everything I write is so bad. The flow is off. It doesn't sound like me. It feels so crooked and wrong. I can't do anything right.

How are things? Has work been alright?

I hope you feel successful. I hope things are easier for you. I hope you are as happy as you seem.

I'm okay.

I don't want to be here. I don't want to be anywhere. I feel crooked and wrong like I just want to scream and cry and dissolve.

I've just been so tired!

I have been tired for at least a decade. Tired of never sleeping. Tired of never feeling anything more than either absolute devastation and absolute nothingness. Tired. Tired. Tired.

I hope I can see you soon.

I hope I can bring myself to get out of bed and out into the world. I hope I can force myself to shower, and get dressed, and be a contributor to society, to social obligations.

I miss you.

I miss you.

I love you.

I love you.

I promise to call as soon as things lighten up a bit.

As long as the chemical imbalance doesn't destroy me altogether, hopefully, I can feign vague interest for a short phone call.

Goodbye.

Goodbye for now, maybe goodbye forever, maybe I'll work up the courage to call you in another 2, 5, 7 weeks or so. My life is made of "maybes." Maybe one-day things will be better. Maybe one day I'll be happy. Maybe one day I won't be anything. Maybe.

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