I Didn’t Have The ‘Normal’ College Experience, And That’s Okay

Nicole Honeywill / Unsplash

Back in high school, when I used to think about college, I used to think of how I would finally get all the freedom that I felt deprived of. I used to think about amazing my life would be. I would finally get the chance to build genuine relationships that would last for all the lifetimes to come. But now I cannot stop thinking about how wrong I was.

I thought about how I couldn’t wait to finally stay up all night and go to fun parties and socialize. Little did I know, that the only reason I would stay up night would be because of the monumental amount of assignments that would be due the following week. And little did I know that I would stay awake till 3 a.m. only because of my worsening anxiety.

I thought that I would make so many amazing friends and build strong relationships and friendships with people, but I never expected for people to turn against me and take advantage of the trust I gave in some people. I thought I would enjoy writing college essays and thesis papers and I would enjoy taking colorful notes during classes (well I did), but I never thought that the same things that I enjoyed and I thought that I would enjoy would turn out to be more exhausting than ever.

I thought I would be independent and do my own thing and enjoy the sanguinity of being alone and having the liberty to make my own decisions. But I never thought that I would ache for company every single day, just for someone to listen to me to rant away. I never thought that I would end up becoming more confused by the night. I thought that people would come and approach me at the cafeteria and make light-hearted conversations and make things better, but I never thought I would have to go and sit on the staircase at the back and eat lunch on my own.

Little did I know that this would be comforting at the same time, after all the noise that I would have to hear on the outside. I thought I would make my own meals, exercise every single day and make my health my first priority. But little did I know that I would turn to cigarettes as a mean of brightening up. I never thought that skipping meals would become so habitual. I thought I wouldn’t miss my family and enjoy my newfound independence. But I never thought that I would become so impatient and restless for every possible break that was there in the semester. I never thought that I would miss my mum’s voice at 7 a.m. coming and screaming at me to wake up or else I would be late for class. I never thought I’d miss the companionable fights with my brother that I had at almost every hour of the day. I never thought I would miss my dad giving me advice on meditation and spirituality and talking on and on about what I should do in order to not throw my life away.

Now a lot of you may think that I had a choice, I could make my college life the way I expected it to be. But there are a lot of other things that were out of my hand at that time and it isn’t as easy as it sounds. But I’m happy that I tried, I am and I always will. But I guess, I never led the “normal” college life.

And in the future or in the near future or at whichever point in your life you join college and you feel the same way, know that you aren’t alone and it’s normal and nothing is permanent and you will find your place that will fill the void. TC mark

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