I grew up with the idea of college being pounded into my brain. Life after high school consisted of nothing more than going to university, majoring in sciences, and eventually becoming a vet.
That was all I had.
So I got into my top choice university, Appalachian State. I graduated high school. I worked and saved up and bought everything I would need for my first year. I have never been more prepared for something in my life. This was my life.
But nothing could have prepared me for what going to college actually means.
It means losing contact with friends back home. It means being so stressed that your weight plummets and your skin breaks out in acne. It means being indecisive about your major and your future for the first time ever.
And I did it alone. Aside from my room mate, Ella, I had virtually no one. My mom and I had a falling out, my best friend back home couldn’t imagine what I was going through, and I don’t have much else. They tell you that you find your independence in college, and boy, are they right. My introverted nature helped in many ways throughout this past year, but it also prevented me from meeting more people, making more friends.
I was afraid to join clubs, afraid even to talk in class (professors are scary). And I regret it. I regret not pushing the metaphorical soap confines of my social bubble. On top of that, I tried to get into a relationship with a boy who wasn’t interested. Don’t date your first few months of college. The break up will result in you cutting your own bangs and having to spend the rest of the year growing them out. (Exhibit A:)
I don’t like living with regrets, but this is one I will have to accept, because I can do better next year.
BUT WAIT — THERE’S MORE:
This year did tear me apart, that’s true. However, it also provided me with more knowledge about the world, about myself, and about how I interact with the world. With this knowledge, I can tweak my flaws and become who I want to be. This is my year. I still don’t know what I want to major in, or what career I ultimately wish to have. Hell, I don’t even know how I’m going to pay off my student loans. But one thing they don’t tell you about college: I learned how to be confident that I will be okay.