I let my long distance relationship hold me back from having the "college experience."
Ahhh, the first night of college: the hallway filled with people going in and out of rooms introducing themselves and hanging out. You could walk through the hall and hear "Sicko Mode," "Fergalicious," and "Jump Around" blaring at the same time. It was an exciting time! These were going to be the best four years of our lives, and this was the beginning. Everything seemed great—except for the fact that I was sitting in my dorm room crying. I missed my best friends and my boyfriend so much. And I missed my parents even though they had just dropped me off a couple of hours ago. I was not going to survive college if I was this much of a wreck on the first night.
I did my first semester all wrong. And unfortunately, the tears returned quite often, especially at first. I was so concerned with people back at home that I wasn't able to engage in much here. I was sad a lot of the time. I had a great high school experience, and it was really hard for me when it ended. At college, my long-distance relationship was especially difficult because I wasn't going out and having fun—I would rather just stay in and facetime my boyfriend. I didn't mind it because I was happy to talk to him instead, but that's the problem.
Well, the good news is, I made it the whole month! And I did meet a couple of really amazing friends and was able to throw myself into my school work. I did go out a little too, but I was never eager to do so. I'm not the most outgoing person to begin with, so the fact that I didn't feel like I had to be invested at school made it really easy to close myself off. My head was at home, and I was just going through the motions until the next weekend I could be back there. I was not living my college experience to the fullest, to say the least.
As you may imagine, my boyfriend breaking up with me made for a hellish Thanksgiving break. However, I think he saw what was going on more than I could. I'm not saying long distance relationships can't work, but for me, someone who is on the quieter side and already prone to getting homesick, I couldn't be fully present at school with a boyfriend at home. I thought I needed him as a support system because I was so homesick, but my missing him was just preventing me from doing anything to change that. I'm so thankful for our relationship. I don't regret any part of it, but it was time for it to end. I just couldn't see it at first.
After I had gotten past the initial sad part of the breakup, I decided I really needed to commit college life. I'm going to be honest—at first, it was to get back at him. I obviously had to show him I was thriving! I started going out with friends, working out a ton, and hoping he saw how well I was doing. I don't think I realized it at first, but as time went on, I was doing these things just because I felt so good. It became less and less about him until it was finally just about me.
Who would have thought more people want to be your friend when you're not sulking about missing home?! I've met so many outstanding people here, and I know I wouldn't have created those close relationships if I was still sitting in my room FaceTiming my boyfriend.
Okay, so fast forward to last weekend: I cheered on the Badgers to a victory and got on the jumbo screen (three times!). My roomie and our friends treated ourselves to a delicious dinner and spray tans. We went out with our neighbors Saturday night and then spent an hour and a half at breakfast the next morning talking and laughing about the festivities.
I can appreciate college for what it is now, and I'm so happy second semester is turning out right.