Prior to entering my freshman year of college, I was fearful and anxious for the journey I was about to embark on. I was excited to begin a new chapter in my life, but I was also incredibly nervous. During my senior year of high school, I, along with everyone else, said things like “I can’t wait to get out of this place” or “I can’t wait to be on my own without any parents hovering over me.” That was exactly how I felt until I woke up on the morning of my move in day. In that very moment, I realized that I would no longer wake up to the voice of my mother or wait for my best friend to pick me up for school. I would have to start over. I would have to learn to take care of myself, make new friends and more importantly figure out who I really am as a person.

The first couple weeks of my freshman year were not exactly pleasant. I struggled with being away from home and had a few mental breakdowns along the way. I felt lost and confused, especially when I found my roommate and I were not nearly as compatible as I thought we would be. I was scared that my friends from home would all be having the time of their lives and would forget about me. However as time passed I found a friend group to fit in with, and to my surprise, I even found a best friend. As the year progressed I grew to love college, and can now proudly say that my freshman year of college was the best year of my life. Though I struggled in the beginning, I realize now that nothing great ever comes easily.

Whether you are excited or nervous for your freshman year of college just remember it’s all a learning experience. It’s OK to feel lost and nostalgic and it’s OK to break down when you feel like you can’t handle all of the stress and pressure. Tough times will make you stronger and help you grow as an individual. Also, don’t be afraid to make new friends and form new relationships, because even if you’re scared of losing friends from home, they will always be a phone call away. And if you think you don’t want to leave your parents, I promise you, they will be there to nag you when you come home from breaks.

So, go into your freshman year of college with an open mind. It’s a scary thing to be out in the world on your own, but with the right mindset and people, you can have the greatest experience of your life.