The Best 4 Years Of Your Life?
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The Best 4 Years Of Your Life?

The truth about my freshman year of college...

The Best 4 Years Of Your Life?
Braeden McElmury

This article is going to be extremely honest. I am actually nervous about writing this, and sharing it for anyone to see. I am writing this because I am sick of people asking me how my first year of college was. I am tired of having to dance around the fact that I didn't thoroughly enjoy my first year. I tell them I love my classes and professors, which is true, but that I am happy to be home. Everyone talks about how college is supposed to be the best four years of your life. How you'll meet your best friends there. I'm not too sure about all of that...

Now, I don't want to make this article just sound like I am complaining and whining, but it's probably going to come off that way. Honesty is important for me, so I just want to be able to be honest with anyone reading this.

On the subject of friends, I've already met some best friends for life in high school. One of them even happens to be my cousin, so I know she's stuck with me for the rest of our lives. In college, I did meet some pretty amazing people who I made great connections with. However, two of them transferred out. This doesn't mean we can't be great friends, but there is distance between us. I have a hard time making friends. I'm great at being a friend, but not so great at initiating conversations with strangers. While I have improved on this throughout the year, I still find it really damn hard to make friends. A lot of people at Hamline don't share my same viewpoints or backgrounds, which isn't a deciding factor for friendship, but it definitely makes it a lot easier to become friends in the first place. This isn't saying I won't find new friends, who could become some of my best friends, but it was just really hard Freshman year to do so.

My freshman year, I was lonely. A lot. Too much. First semester, the majority of my weekends were spent alone in my dorm room, eating microwaved food and watching YouTube videos. I rarely had more than one hour of homework, which is something I wasn't expecting coming into college. Naturally, I had a lot of free time. My two friends on our floor were gone a lot of weekends, so either I was sitting alone crying in the room, or doing homework alone in the Anderson Center. I know this sounds really sad. It also sounds really negative. I just need you to know you are not alone if you felt this way too, even once.

My (undocumented) anxiety also got the better of me. It started affecting my life during Piper Passages, which is like our orientation in case you are not a Hamline student. We had a midnight Target run, with a DJ, free food, prizes, etc. If you know me, you know I love Target. Target, if you're reading this, please hire me to do something for you. I'm in love. Despite my love for Target, I had no friends to go with, so I didn't go. I could have third-wheeled with a friend of mine, but was worried about what other people would think. (which is totally stupid, I know) So, I didn't go. School hadn't even started yet and I was already letting my anxiety dictate what I did and didn't do. This happened throughout the semester, with similar situations. There'd be an event I wanted to go to, but I would get too nervous about everything related to it, so I just had a pity party for one in my room. For lack of a better word, it sucked. I was too anxious to go and see someone for my anxiety, so I don't know if it will ever get better.

During winter break, I had a breakdown to my boyfriend about how damn lonely I was. I cried (like a baby) and wanted to transfer. I was so discouraged.

However, I am glad I stayed. I became closer friends with some girls, one of who I am now living with this year. Although the other one is transferring, she won't be too far and will hopefully visit very often. While I was still lonely, and I'm not sure if I belong at Hamline, I'm going to try and make the best of it. Will I regret staying at Hamline? I don't know for sure. I still don't see how this will be the best four years of my life. Maybe it can be the best three. Here's hoping. I'm working on being more outgoing, but damn, it is hard.

To the friends I did make, thanks for being my friend. You really don't know how much it meant for you to hang out with me, catch dinner with me, or even just study together at Starbucks.

The point of my article is not to gain your pity or sympathy. I've had enough of that to last a lifetime. I just want you to know, if you ever felt like this during any year of college, it's okay. You are not alone. It does get better. Hang in there. Don't be afraid to reach out and tell people you are struggling. They may be having a difficult time themselves.

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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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