Dear Second Semester Freshman,
We are in the same boat.
As I packed up my things, tears in my eyes, I DREADED the idea of going back somewhere that I already wasn’t a fan of. The parties, the distance, meeting new people, the freedom: all of it seemed like the perfect college experience painted by TV shows and movies. The problem with media is it doesn’t portray the loneliness and worry that I’m sure college freshmen feel more than they care to admit. Now don’t get me wrong, there are people who absolutely LOVE their college experience so far. It’s just, I’m not one of them. I find myself feeling jealous of my friends that have found their place and made the most of where they are. I see them smiling along with their new friends and I fear that I’m being forgotten while they make new memories with new people. I realize I’m wishing I had what they have in every aspect of their experience. I wish I had made friends as easily as they did. I wish I loved being on my own. I wish I loved my school as a whole. But, the reality is, I just don’t. And that’s ok.
During the six hour car ride back to school with my dad, there was a whole whirlwind of emotions I was feeling. I kept having ups and downs, going from belting Earth, Wind, and Fire songs at the top of my lungs to staring out the window feeling tears stream down my face. We arrived at the school, took all my things into my dorm, and then began driving to a restaurant to have dinner. On the way there, I reached the height of the whirlwind and couldn’t hold it in anymore. I began to sob.
My dad knew I had been having troubles the previous semester, but I don’t think the extent of my misery had been fully portrayed. It was then that I told him I felt as though I was letting everyone down by not enjoying my college experience. My parents, my sister, anyone who has heard of my school, all of them have told me how great they think this school is and I have had so much pent up guilt inside me for not agreeing with them.
If any of you feel the same way I do, you’ll understand when I say that revealing this was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Telling your parent you think you’re disappointing them is not only embarrassing, but also scary. What if they agree? What if they say to get over it? What if they don’t understand? My dad turned to me and told me not only what I wish I had realized from Day 1, but what I’m going to tell you too:
YOU ARE NOT LETTING ANYONE DOWN.
If you don’t believe anything I’ve said so far, PLEASE believe this:
Your health and your happiness is what is most important to your parents. They are disappointed, but not because you’re unhappy at a specific place, because you’re unhappy at all.
I firmly believe one of my favorite quotes rings true and it helps me realize that no matter what I decide, whether I stay here or try to find what I’m looking for somewhere else, my decision is my decision and everything will be ok, because “it’s all ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.” If you feel like things are not ok, realize that this isn’t the end.
This is just the beginning.