Freshman year of college is something that is hyped up throughout your high school and sometimes even your middle school years. Everyone who has had a traditional college experience will speak about college like it is their glory days. "You'll have the best four years of your life" and "Man I wish I could go back" are the common phrases that you'll hear from siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends.
Going into my freshman year of college, I had very high expectations for what my freshman year was going to be like. I expected to gain close friendships almost immediately, to deeply enjoy my classes and class schedule, and to be able to express myself in a way that I wasn't able to express myself in college. On move-in day, I could not wait to start my college experience and I was so excited about the amazing year I had ahead of me.
In all honesty, freshman year was nothing that I was expecting it to be.
I had a really hard time transitioning from high school into college and I don't think that was something anyone could have prepared me for. Not only was it a change in terms of the environment, but it was also a major change in terms of lifestyle. I suddenly found myself surrounded by people who held a lot of different morals than I did.
I was surrounded by people who were making choices that I felt were wrong but I felt like they were all pushing me into that direction. I tried my best to fight peer pressure and temptation but along the way I found myself going down some of the wrong paths. I had an expectation that it would be so easy to uphold my own beliefs in college but once I arrived I met a peer pressure that I had never before experienced in high school.
The first semester of my freshman year was definitely a rough time for me. I didn't meet my expectations of what I thought my freshman year was going to be like, and I fell into a sequence of focusing solely on the negative aspects that were happening in my life. I feel into a deep pit of sadness and despair and suddenly I felt like college wasn't right for me because I wasn't making the choices that I wanted to be making.
When the New Year came around, I promised myself that I was going to put more of a focus on myself. I was going to stop worrying about social status, obtaining ridiculously set goals in classes, fake relationships, and finding new relationships. For once in my life, I decided I was going to put my faith into God's hands and waited to see what he decided to do with my life.
This experience was one that changed my life.
When I chose to let God control my life, I finally felt at peace in my life. I felt like I could be myself. I felt like for once in my life I didn't have to experience extreme anxiety when I felt like I couldn't take control of my own life. With time to focus on me, I finally started to regain the confidence and self-worth that I had felt before coming to school. I realized that my past was not something that defined me and I realized that it was never too late to change the way I lived.
For those of you who are wondering about freshman year, I'm sure a lot of people are going to tell you that every single minute of it is absolutely amazing. The truth is, that's far from the truth. The truth is, you're going to have days that really suck. There are going to be days when you're up to 3 am studying for the exam you eventually come to fail.
There are going to be days when you miss your own bed at home so bad but yet still you have to force yourself to climb up into your uncomfortable cramped dorm room bed. There are going to be days where you wish your Mom could be there to hug you and tell you everything is going to be okay. There are going to be days when the person you like doesn't like you back. There are going to be days where you make major mistakes and you feel major regret and guilt. There are days that are going to make you wish you had never left for college.
The thing is though is that it's totally normal.
Even though you may feel like you are the only one having bad days in college, you are most definitely not the only one. Every college student experiences these days and these moments. College is a mixture of good and bad moments meaning that it is totally okay to experience bad days in college. And even if you feel as if these bad days are a product of your own behavior and choices, please know that you have the ability to change. You have the strength and power to change the ways that you act in order to change your life. You will make mistakes, but know that your mistakes do not define you and you always have the opportunity to make a change in your life.
Your freshman year is one that's filled with a lot of mixed emotions. Like people say, it certainly can be the start to some of the best years to your life but at the same time don't let that fool you.
It's okay to not be okay in college.