When people ask me how I’m liking life at NC State, I always ramble on about how much I’m loving college life. Going on and on about how it’s so much fun, blah, blah, blah.

I tell them about all the clubs I’ve joined, all the friends I’ve made and how I’ve spent all my weekends attending football games, basketball games and taking impromptu trips with the girls. And I’m not lying when I tell them how I’m truly loving it.

I really do enjoy my new life here with my new friends, new responsibilities and new identity.

But sometimes it’s hard. People often don’t talk about how overwhelming college is, and when the struggles are brought up they say “oh that’s just how it is, college is supposed to be hard.”

We’re supposed to be sleep-deprived, malnourished, and academically overwhelmed because that’s “just how college is.”

It’s hard to find your niche, and sometimes it feels really lonely.

I know what you’re thinking, “Kylie, how can you be lonely at a school with a student body of over 40,000?” That’s the population of a medium-sized town, I’m sure there’s somebody out there to be your friend.

But that’s just it, there are SO MANY people. And SO MANY student clubs and organizations to join that all sound so fun.

It is way too easy to stretch yourself too thin trying to find out which club suits you best, keep up with socializing and making friends and thinking out your schoolwork. It’s enough to burn a person out before the first month has passed.

I think that loneliness is a form of homesickness. I never thought I’d be one to get homesick -- especially since I’m going to a school no more than 15 minutes away -- but being apart from the people I’ve surrounded myself with for the past 18 years has been a major struggle.

People don’t talk about homesickness in college, everyone claims they don’t miss home at all and that they’re having the time of their lives.

I began to think there was something wrong with me for missing home so much when everyone else was clearly not. Why am I so different?

I’ve recently learned that I’m not so different. Everyone feels lonely, overwhelmed and a little bit homesick every once in a while.

There are times when I wish I could go back to a life of baby steps and routine.

And yeah, college is really hard. My classes are hard, I have no free time and I’m forced to push myself out of my comfort zone every single day.

But it has been the best experience of my life thus far, allowing me to think as an individual, put myself out there, become more confident in my own skin and ideas and really get excited about my future.

As time goes on and the culture shock wears off, I’m actually really excited for the three years I have left here and as cliché as it sounds, I’m ready for all the new memories to come.