As incoming college freshmen, we have a lot to be excited for; our dorms, new friends, classes we’re actually interested in, new environments to socialize and grow in, etc., etc.. However, what I’ve noticed is that none of us seem to want to admit that secretly, there are a lot of things we’re scared or worried about during this huge transition into adulthood. So here’s a list of stuff that I, as an incoming college freshmen, made of stuff that freshmen are afraid to admit they’re terrified of:
Whether you’re going across country or just an hour away from home, you’re going to miss home. You’re going to miss your family, friends, pets, and the everyday routine you got used to during high school. You’re going to wake up in a strange place, eat in a strange place, and attempt to learn in a strange place. It’s going to be overwhelming. There are going to be moments when you breakdown and call you parents; that’s okay. Just remember that the rest of us are going to have our moments too. Do your best to add your own touches of home to your dorm, and seriously, don’t be afraid to call your mom, like, a lot. Nobody’s judging here.
2. Friendships and relationships growing apart.
Distance can scare away people who are intimidated by the effort it takes to maintain a healthy relationship. Not only that, but there’s the prospect of meeting new people and getting involved in new and different things. Remember that it’s okay to make new connections and grow, and that the people who are going to stick around might be making their own connections and self-growth, but they’re still going to be taking the time to include you in their life. Distance doesn’t have to be a negative in a relationship.
It gives each person the freedom to live as they choose, and it will mean a hell of a lot more if they still choose you, and you them. There will still be people who grow in a completely different direction than you, and they won’t bother to stay in touch. That can be hard, but maybe it just means they’ve served their purpose in your life, at least for the time being. Never hold yourself back trying to hold onto people you don’t need anymore; the important ones will keep up.
3. Getting lost.
If you’re like me, you’re moving into an area that is the total opposite of the one you grew up in. I’m going from a rural high school to a city college. And even for people who are used to whatever environment they’re going to (rural or city etc.) you’re still going to have to adjust to your new home. There could be different methods of transportation, buildings you’ve only visited or seen a couple times, heck, maybe even a different language. For a while, we’re all going to feel alien in these new places, but like anything else in life, we will adjust over time. I think we’re going to be surprised at how short that time will be.
4. Making new friends.
Sure, all of our colleges have all these ice-breaking events planned, but really, how are we supposed to make the kind of friends we had in high school overnight? The truth is we won’t. In a lot of cases we’ll make better friends, but it will take time. We’re all going to have to step out of our comfort zones and reach out to our new peers.
The cool thing is, we get a blank slate to start on; we can be whoever we want to be, and find people who accept us for it. That’s why our friendships made in college will probably be better than those we had in high school; they won’t be based on the fact that we see each other five days a week. Hang in there, throw out a couple of smiles or hellos, and eventually you’ll get to know some cool people. (I’m working on it too.)
5. Calling it home.
Home is where your mom, dad, brother, sister, cat, dog, or pet fish is, right? It’s the house you took your first steps in, the one with the stairs you race down every Christmas morning to get to the tree, the one you and your little brother broke a few glass dishes in, right? Right. Because all of that’s still true. But now you’ve reached this age where you have to do this thing called being an adult. And in a lot of ways, it sucks. You have a lot more responsibilities.
But, you also have more freedoms. That being said, you are now in a place where you set your own rules and live the way that you want to. Your dorm may be the smallest, dingiest square cement room around, but it’s where you’re going to start the next chapter of your life. So make it your own, try to feel comfortable not only in that small room, but on your college campus in general, and someday soon, maybe the word home will feel like the natural thing to call it. (Again, I’m working on it too.)
Just know that you’re not the only one terrified. But doing things even though you’re terrified, that’s what being brave is. Hang in there.