Freshman year of college is an exciting time that many high schoolers look forward to and long for. I know that sitting in the classrooms of my high school, I would often imagine the day I'd be off at college, miles away from the strains of twelfth grade.

Unfortunately, the first year of college doesn't always turn out like people think it will. Mine surely didn't.

I expected to join a sorority, meet tons of new friends, and make straight A's. None of those things happened for me. And, most likely, not everything you hope for in your freshman year will happen.

But here's the thing: it's okay if freshman year isn't what you thought it'd be. In fact, it's normal. A lot of people have an idealized version of college in their minds, and it doesn't always turn out like that. If it does, then great, but, if not, it's okay. Really.

Though freshman year may not live up to your expectations, it will still be one of the best years of your life. It will be a season of new opportunities, learning, and growth. It will be a time to experience new things, grow as a person, and learn more about yourself.

You will learn to show yourself grace and compassion, recognizing the fact that you're going through a huge life change and dealing with things you've never dealt with before. You will learn to handle whatever life throws at you, and you will learn that, although your expectations aren't always met, you can still find joy and contentment in your circumstances.

Be patient with yourself, and don't expect everything to turn out perfectly. Take it day by day. Be deliberate with your thoughts, and don't dwell on what you thought college would be. like.

Instead, appreciate the wonderful parts of college, the parts that you'll look back on with a smile for years to come. My freshman year didn't go how I thought it would, but it was still one of the best years of my life, and I wouldn't change a thing.