The Harsh Reality Of Going To College And Realizing You Peaked In High School


My high school memories include partying every weekend, 100-second long Snapchat stories of nights out, Instagram pictures with 100+ likes, and hooking up with boys. I enjoyed every single moment with my friends. Sure, I had my fair share of rough times but for the most part, I loved high school. I had my close group of friends and then a larger group to party with and it was everything I could ask for. I was happy, I was content, I was excited about every weekend, and I loved my friends. Everything was good.

A great high school career means an even better college career, right? Wrong. I expected college to be the best four years of my life, and so far my expectations have fallen nothing but short.

As a “popular” kid in high school with normal and attractive friends, I expected to fit right in at my college. I figured that Greek life was the perfect opportunity to make friends like the ones I was already starting to miss from home. I began recruitment confident that I would find my home in a sorority, only to end up being dropped by every sorority I liked. I was crushed. I didn’t know why this happened or how I was supposed to make friends now. There was nothing that I wanted more to be a part of Greek life but Greek life didn’t want me. It was truly devastating, but I moved on.

As I struggled to find my place the rest of the semester, I realized it wasn’t working. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I thought maybe the school just wasn’t for me, so I transferred.

Transferring was exciting. Over winter break, all I could think about was getting a new start. A new chance to rush, a new chance to fit in, and a new chance to have a life similar to my old one. I went through recruitment again, confident that I was unlucky the first time, and now I would find my home.

I didn’t. It was a déjà vu of what happened at my previous college. This time, I knew something was definitely wrong with me. People don’t just get unlucky twice, right? How am I supposed to make friends? How will I get to experience mixers and date parties and formals? My family and friends from home were shocked. Not only was I disappointed, but I was also embarrassed. I had no excuses. This was my second time rushing at a second place. All I could think was this wasn’t supposed to happen to me. So why was it? Why wasn’t I good enough anymore?

The truth is, I’ll never know why. I’ll never know why I experienced two of the hardest rejections I’ve ever had to deal with. I’ll never know why I apparently wasn’t good enough. And I’ll never know why the life I so badly wanted was so out of reach.

I guess what I learned from this is that life does not work out in the ways you want. Rejection can come twice and just as hard. It’s okay to be a different person in college than you were in high school. Partying and popularity are things you can live without (surprisingly). Maybe once is enough. Learn to adjust and grow from rejection and hurt. I’ve faced the facts that I’ll never be the “typical sorority girl” with an active social life and a big group of friends.

My high school lifestyle did not foreshadow my college lifestyle, and it’s okay. You know why? Because I still have an amazing future ahead of me filled with opportunities. I am still loved by friends and family, I’m mentally and physically healthy, and I am confident in myself. I may not be the prettiest, or skinniest, or smartest girl in the room but I can still be happy. I have to let go of the college life I had always pictured and repaint it. I have to accept this disheartening experience and move on.

Maybe I’m not the girl I thought I was or used to be. I don’t need acceptance from anyone but the people who matter most to me. Now is the most important time to do well in school and I plan to take absolute advantage of my college experience academically. I’ll take the college social life set back now so maybe I can “peak” again later in life when I have a dream career and a family of my own.

Whoever said, “college is the best four years of your life” probably had a terrible high school experience. I don’t regret peaking in high school. In fact, I cherish my memories. There is no one else besides my high school friends who I would’ve rather “peaked” with.

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