To The High School That Introduced Me To My New Home, Thank You
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To The High School That Introduced Me To My New Home, Thank You

"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings." — Lao Tzu

Meg Willcox
Meg Willcox

Being a college freshman, you are forced to re-start. It's the first time in your life when you're on your own. Suddenly, you are held accountable for all the things you used to rely on your parents for. It's a weird feeling. You feel like you're grown up, but at the same time, you're living in a dorm. It's like the halfway point to true adulthood.

For me, college was a huge adjustment. When I applied to schools, I applied to mostly out of state schools. I was so stuck on the idea of "getting out." Now, being here, I wish I was closer to home. JMU is about four and a half hours from Philadelphia, but it feels much further. Even though I've been here for a long time, I'm still adjusting. I think one of the biggest things for me was getting into a routine. However, as I began to get into my routine here, I still felt like something was missing.

It took me a while to realize what was throwing me off. Did I not like how I was in the middle of nowhere? Did I want to be in a city? Did I not want to be a part of Greek life? I couldn't put my finger on what it was. I was so conflicted. I saw all my friends from home having such a good time at school and I didn't understand why I didn't feel the same way. I wanted to feel like everyone else, but I just didn't.

In feeling this way, I felt like a coward. Here I was, given the opportunity of going to college, a really good college, and I didn't even like it. But then I realized that maybe not everyone was having the best time ever. It's hard to think that with the existence of social media. Social media portrays our best moments, not our worst. I realized that some people probably thought I was having an amazing time, when in reality that wasn't entirely true.

That's when it hit me. I suddenly understood why I didn't feel at home here.

Everything that felt normal to me was gone. I was no longer playing sports with the same kids I had since middle school. I was no longer driving a car every day. I was no longer around a huge group of friends. I was alone, and I felt helpless.

I was lucky to have grown up where I did. I had such a good high school experience that I think I had very high expectations that college would be exactly like that at first. But the truth is, it's going to take time, and that's completely normal.

I didn't want to put myself out there. I wanted to stick to what was comfortable. I was nervous to meet people because I didn't know what they would make of me. I was used to being the kid that everyone knew, especially because of sports. I was no longer that kid. It's hard when one of the biggest parts of your life is suddenly gone. Everybody has their niche, and when you no longer have it, you feel stuck.

That's when I knew I had to do something. I went through recruitment and met really amazing people. There are still so many people I don't know, and sometimes I feel like no one really knows me. However, I realize that is going to take time. I started playing intramural basketball with some of my good friends here and that's helped a lot. I think all of the times I have gotten out of my comfort zone have been the times I had the most fun. You may think it feels weird and foreign, but I promise you're not the only one. The first year of college is weird and awkward. You're in a totally different state of mind. That's why you have to find what makes you happy.

So, I'm here to tell you it's OK to miss your mom, your dog, and your bed. These are all normal things to miss. The only thing is, you have to make sure you're doing everything you can to make the best out of your current situation. If you don't, you won't be able to experience the best parts of college.

I'm still a work in progress. I still feel awkward sometimes and feel like I don't fit in. However, I am trying my best to find what makes me happy. As long as I continue to do that, I think I'll be surprised at how much I like it here.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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