Life is not cookie cutter, any aspect of it. It is not a one-size-fits-all experience for every person. When you are surrounded by people who seem to be doing all the same and "right" things, it is hard to see and understand that it is perfectly OK to not be doing the same thing as everyone else. It doesn't mean what you are doing is wrong, and it doesn't mean that what everyone else is doing is wrong. It simply reinforces the idea that everyone is different, and college is entirely what you make it. Here are some ideas to keep in mind when you need some reassurance.
It is OK to feel overwhelmed.
A lot of people are really good at hiding this, but trust me when I say that everyone is overwhelmed, especially in the beginning of a new project, new job, new journey. But even once you've made it through the first day, first month, first year, it is totally OK and normal to still feel overwhelmed and confused.
There is no timeline of when things will get easier or harder, of when your time management skills will improve or deteriorate, of when you stop missing home. Everyone is different, so everyone will experience all of the transitions and changes in this journey at their own time. Don't be discouraged when your peers are getting the hang of it, while you are still struggling, despite all the time and work you've invested. It's OK.
It is OK to not like where you are at.
Sometimes, things simply do not work out. Luckily, in this life and generation it is relatively easy to help yourself and try and fix what ever is not working. If friends are what is bringing you down: it is OK to be a little selfish and choose yourself over them. If people do not add light or lessons to your life, evaluate their presence. There is something to be said for the relationship between your success, accomplishments, and feelings and the people you choose to be around.
If school or your job is what is bringing you down: look elsewhere. Yes, I encourage you to give it your best shot and explore all the opportunities available at the school or place of employment to make it the best experience you can have. But if it doesn't work out and you've tried your best, don't be ashamed to explore other options. Do not limit your success because of the fear: It will be OK.
It is OK to ask for help.
Life is stressful, crazy, and emotional. It is not easy to balance all the responsibilities of schoolwork, employment, family, and a social life. It's tough and exhausting, and it is challenging to do by yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting that you are struggling. Friends are there to support you, family is there to love you, and counselors are there to guide you. There is no shame in admitting you are in need of not going it alone. It is OK.
When you look around you, in every aspect of life, there are people at different stages of success, triumph, and defeat. It's important to understand that no one is going through the exact same thing, and there is no race to get to success. Do not compare your stage one to some one else's stage five. Be kind to yourself and others, and realize it's OK to not always be OK.