You’re not happy and that’s okay

Feeling out of place in college is normal

By on September 5, 2017

College is an opportunity to bring about new beginnings, which sounds exciting if it didn’t come along with the high expectations: get stellar grades, make a bunch of friends and discover what you want to be before graduation. Suddenly college doesn’t feel so exciting as it is intimidating and scary.

When students choose to live on a college campus, they’re exposed to new faces, environments and cultures 24/7, which can result in a weight of uneasiness increasing with each passing day. Trust me, I know the feeling.

I know what it’s like to worry about how you’d fare amongst other students from different parts of the world, but because of my curiousity about how much I could accomplish on my own as a newly-independent adult, I stayed on campus.

On the contrary, I’ve heard of students who felt so overwhelmed by the academic and social pressures to the point where they left college as soon as they arrived. In fact, during my freshman year I decided to move from my original dormitory into a new one, and I asked my new roommate what happened to the former student who inhabited the bed I was going to use for the rest of the year.

My roommate said that person became a close friend, but dropped out after a week due to the immense anxiety she felt over being away from her family in this newfound environment. Something else I heard? That girl said it was  the worst decision she ever made.

I felt sadness knowing that there were probably more students like her, panicking and leaving over things that could’ve been solved easily if they knew about the variety of resources at the college that could help ease their mind.

If you’re struggling mentally in regards to feeling homesick, there’s an overabundance of organizations that can distract you from those thoughts. College events are a prime example with clubs coming up second, with their central focuses ranging in a multitude of areas from watching Anime to supporting Women’s Rights to practicing Mixed Martial Arts. Plus, if none of the clubs work for you, you can always create one for yourself.

Joining Greek life is also a great tool to socialize, with fraternities and sororities encouraging friendship and togetherness. Even venturing outside campus to grab a bite to eat or see a movie can make the world feel a little less empty.

If you fear of not making any friends right away, trust me when I say this, you shouldn’t be alone for long. There are simply way too many students in college that you just cannot be a complete loner.

There is also local college health centers that provides care to one’s mind, with guidance counselors and encouraging pamphlets you can keep throughout the day.

Those are all very useful avenues of assistance that can be the solution to a student’s problems with feeling some comfort on campus, although if you decide to follow any of these tips, I still don’t expect you to feel comfortable right away. Not without following the most important step of all to feeling better about living away from home or any dilemma you’re in for that matter. That step is to acknowledge that you’re not happy, and that’s okay.

It’s one thing to know that you’re upset, but without accepting that feeling that way is normal and you shouldn’t feel shame because of it. It’ll be difficult to embrace opportunities you’re given on campus.

There are so many other students who feel just as afraid and pessimistic about college, whether they admit to it or not, and that is a big reason why there are all of these events, clubs and counseling, because they help students come together and recognize their unique strengths as individuals.

I certainly discovered things about myself that I never thought I could do. Looking back on those accomplishments I’m proud of myself and eager to pursue my future.

While your negative thoughts might not be erased completely, as long as you reach out to others you’re more likely to not feel as much sorrow and understand that you are not alone when it comes to being afraid. Almost every student is when beginning a new chapter of their lives. Keeping that in mind will help in shaping you to become a more mature and happier person.

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About Jennie Torres

Social Media Coordinator
Staff Writer
English Major/Spanish Minor
Class of 2019