Freshman Year of College: The Best Year of Your Life???

When I got that acceptance letter from Ole Miss, I had never been happier! I was ready to get out on my own, start working toward my future career, and having the time of my life. I moved into my dorm, excited to meet everyone in the rooms around me and to "have the best year of my life". The first week rolled by so fast, and before I knew it, everyone on my dorm hall already had their friend groups, and I wasn't a part of any of them. Then classes started and I knew this was something I could  do well in. I was always a high-scoring student in high school, and graduated 11th in my class. But after the first round of tests in my classes, I wasn't doing too hot. This was the first time I had really struggled academically. Then Rush rolled around. I knew that joining a sorority would be a perfect way to meet new people and go to fun parties. I spent the week of Rush feeling confident and talkative, not traits I usually carry. But then when Bid Day came around, I found myself at my sorority house alone, eating cookies next to my mom. To be fair, no one really alienated me, but since I wasn't extremely outgoing, I kind of got pushed to the side.

Throughout Freshman year, I made some friends and did well in some classes. I went to sorority socials and had some good times. But I always came back to my dorm each night feeling drained and out of place. Everyone had always told me "Freshman year will be the best year of your life!" and I felt like I was doing it wrong. I felt like *I* was wrong. I felt stupid and self conscious, and I was sure everyone saw me as a misfit. Again, no one was mean to me and none of my teachers were unfair. I was just still trying to adjust to my WHOLE LIFE changing and it wasn't going well for me. I called my mom at least once a week to beg her to let me drop out. I felt like I would rather flip burgers my whole life than feel so inadequate for another day. 

For some people, it is! They make tons of friends that they keep for life, have tons of fun, and love Freshman year! But for a lot of people, especially introverts, it is very hard. Changing where you live, who you talk to every day, how you study, how you make friends, what you eat, what you buy, how you get places, etc. has a HUGE impact on your mental and physical health. No one talks about how hard Freshman year can be, and that isn't fair to people who end up feeling wrong for not having the time of their life.

But here is secret number 2: IT GETS BETTER!
As cliche as that is, its so true. It WILL get better. You will find people that think like you do and like things you like. You will find a way to study that works for you. You will find a rhythm for your life that makes you feel and work your best. 

After freshman year, I changed my major, moved to an apartment, and started studying differently than I ever had. I spent more time around people who cared about me, and I found the schedule and diet and routine that worked best for me. College has been the best 4 years of my life, so far. I have to say 4 years and add that freshman year in, because it led to where I am now, which is a place I love. I will start Graduate school soon and I really think it will be even better.


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