I hate college. I hate having to make new friends; I miss my old ones. I hate the food in the dining hall; I have a poorly made salad and french fries every night for dinner.
I hate the overwhelming anxiety that comes with stepping foot in each classroom, and I am nervous that all my peers secretly judge me. I hate that I was looking forward to each of my classes and was excited to learn and grow. The excitement has faded and has been replaced with unease.
I hate it here. (Dorm room of author, Natalie Bethany)
I message my mom daily with the complaint that “I hate college.” The reasons for these messages vary daily. I hated college on Sunday because I wanted to have my own bathroom; shower shoes suck.
I hated college yesterday because I was scared to talk in my large class. I hate college today because I feel guilty sitting in my room while everyone else is hanging out with their friends. I’m almost positive that my mom will continue to receive daily “I hate college” texts for the remainder of this semester.
The stereotypes set for the first weeks of college are wildly inaccurate. I expected to be surrounded by friends and find my place right away. No one talks about how difficult it is to start this new chapter in your life. I wish people had been transparent about their experiences.
I am not the only one who has ever felt lost in their first couple days as a college student. My mom tells me that things will get better with time, and I know she’s correct, but right now, it’s difficult to imagine college being any other way. I’m doing my best to remember that change is hard, and it’s okay to take time to adjust.
While the transition from high school to college has been challenging, I enjoy some aspects of college. I love the routine I have created now; I feel confident in my abilities to get my school work done, I clean my dorm room each night before bed, and walking around campus while the sun is setting is a sacred experience.
My roommate and I have also taken to hosting weekend movie nights. We get a group of friends from high school, and all clamor into our tiny room. We laugh together, gossip, and pay just enough attention to the movie to understand the basic plot. My dorm is finally starting to feel like home (just my room, though; the rest of the building is a little gross). The plants, posters, crochet flowers and pillows, pictures, and Christmas lights create a calming atmosphere that I always hoped my dorm room would have.
After meeting with my therapist on Friday, I was tasked with creating a vision board for how I want my first semester of college to go. I included good grades, good study habits, getting involved, connecting with professors, making genuine friends, taking breaks when needed, and going to the gym.
These goals and expectations have been put on my corkboard so I can be reminded each day. I also know that my goals and expectations cannot be completed in a single day.
Making genuine connections with people and establishing my place on campus will take time. I have already started on those goals by getting a job with The Maine Campus, UMaine’s student newspaper. My first writing piece is being assigned today. I look forward to getting out there and meeting new people that way.
I am still intimidated by aspects of college, specifically midterms and finals week, but I know that in time, I will feel at home here and not only survive but thrive.
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