We hear for years growing up that college will be the best four years of our lives. We watch movies that glamorize Greek life, partying, drinking, and make us think college is all fun. People barely even study in those movies, so how hard can it be? By the time we’re seniors in high school, the questions never stop coming: Where are you going? What are you majoring in? Where is that? Where did you apply? Are you excited? And of course the declarative statement: These will be the best years of your life. No doubt college is fun, there’s freedom that you don’t get in high school and a sense of adventure at every turn. The first time I realized I could go out to a movie at midnight and no one would tell me no or set a curfew turned into a wild night.
Then there’s what people don’t tell you. I just finished my first year in college, and now that finals are behind me I have some time to be able to sit down and reflect and, for the first time in months, simply do nothing.
College is fun and freeing, but it is busy and you will miss home. Making friends at an institution with thousands if not tens of thousands of people can be extremely intimidating. There will be nights that you feel lonely and lost. You will be unsure and will not always know the right answer. As many times as your parents call you, it will not fill the void of not being able to wake up and see them each morning with your dog wagging their tale at the foot of your bed.
There are a hundred clubs you can join and a thousand classes you can take. Sometimes it can all seem like a blur. Sometimes you will feel like a failure. Sometimes you will feel like you really aren’t accomplishing anything. Your all-nighters at the library, after making you go crazy, will make you feel hopeless. Is this really worth it? Can I really do this? And if you cannot answer that, I will: It is and you can. Every time you have felt helpless in your life you have gotten back up to this point. If you’ve done it before you can do that now.
If you look around you will see that most people are smiling or laughing with their friends. On warm spring days people seem carefree no matter what. You might feel left out or like you’re falling behind because though you smile too, your emotions don’t necessarily match your appearance. I promise you that all of these people are experiencing the same thing that you are. Some are better than others at hiding it, but college is a journey and with every journey comes ups and downs. These people are in the same walk of life as you are. You are not alone.
I don’t mean to write this to scare you. College is fun. I just want to normalize the idea that it might not be the best four years of your life. It might not be perfect. It might not be everything the movies and your parents tell you it will be and that’s okay. You’re not doing anything wrong because your experiences are yours to experience. There will be difficult times and there will be amazing times. There will be times you feel like you are drowning and times you will feel on top of the world. Just as with anything else, you will continue on and you will succeed. This is just a small blip in your life. There is so much to see in this world, so many people to love, and so much to experience. This is only your beginning.
Meagan is an 18 (soon to be 19!) year old lifestyle blogger from California. She is a sophomore majoring in Theatre and Public Relations/Advertising and is a transfer student at Chapman University. She enjoys Disney, cake, Broadway, travelling, dresses, and Kate Spade accessories. She is also obsessed with stationery and being organized. Visit her on her blog!