When you are a senior in high school, every fiber of your being is excited for college. You pretend like you are ~soaking up every last moment with your besties~ and paying close attention to things like your homecoming game and your prom dress, but all you can think about is what college is going to be like. You draw from movies and TV shows that make it look like a Utopia for young adults where everyone can find their interests, their lifelong friends, and themselves. And that is exactly what college is. Except for your first semester.
Your first semester of college starts out rough with moving in. The elevator in your dorm is broken and you have to walk up five flights of stairs to move your stuff in. Your random roommate’s stuff is there, but she is nowhere to be found. Your mom is micromanaging every second of the process. One minute, your whole family is jammed into your cramped dorm room, and then next they are gone. You are free! You made it! You’re a college girl now! You walk out into the hall to find your friends. But wait, your friends are miles and miles away. So you venture out for a moment, only to turn around to retreat to your room and Facetime your best friend, who also just moved in today. When you open the door, your roommate is back. You two seem to get along, but you both have never had to share a room, which will be the root of all of your future problems. And there will be bushels of them. If you still make eye contact with each other by the end of the year, it’s a miracle.
Once classes start, you start to get into a routine. A routine that includes rushing to class, getting lost, being late because you were lost, eating shitty dining hall food with people who live on your floor, doing homework while you watch Netflix, and staying up too late which makes you oversleep for class the next morning. You have met people in your class, but not like friends. You commiserate over the fact that your professor is a total whack job whose grading scale makes little to no sense, but it’s not like you hang out on the weekends. You mostly dorm drink anything that you can sneak up to your room in backpacks.
Time starts to pass in front of your face. It’s September, then it’s midterms, then it’s Thanksgiving, and you go home to see your high school friends for the first time. You tell them all about the guy who you’ve been making flirty eye contact with when you pass him on the way to class for the last several weeks, and about your new friends, that will never compare to your high school friends, of course. You realize for the first time how much you missed being around people who know you. Not just people who you met, but people who truly understand you and where you come from. You drag your ass back to school just in time for finals, which eagle punch you into another dimension of stress. You look back on your semester and wonder how you managed to get through it. You want to go home, crawl in your bed, and never come back. You don’t care about anything, you just know you can never do that again.
But when you return in the Spring, you see friends that you made and missed over the break. You’re excited for that new elective you’re taking. You’ve either found your place in your sorority or you’re getting ready to rush. You actually know where all the buildings and rooms are on campus. Once you get through that first semester, you come back realizing you laid down all the groundwork for yourself. You can keep making new friends and exploring new things, but it feels more like home. When you go home for summer, you will be DYING to go back. So just because your first semester sucks, it doesn’t mean college is going to suck. Unless you’re a GDI. Then it will..