Most of your life as a student is preparing for something -- preparing for a test, preparing for college, preparing for a sports competition. You spend hours and hours studying, practicing, and creating expectations for how it’s going to be when you reach the goal you are pursuing.
Sometimes, however, when you finally achieve your goal, you find that it's not quite what you expected. It’s not so uncommon to dislike the life you had been fighting for, or at the very least to
struggle with the transition once you get there. It's actually very common for college students,
even ones who get into their dream schools, to feel this way at the beginning of their freshman
year. They may think: “but it’s all that I've ever wanted” or, “it took me so much time and energy
to accomplish this.” If this happens to you, stay calm -- it’s not the end of the world.
You are not the only one to have second thoughts about the new place you are in and the people
you live with. The teachers may not be so friendly or helpful, and college is a totally different
environment that can be very intimidating.
My tips to get through this phase (yes, it can be just a phase) are:
- Talk to your peers. You may not think it, but there will be a lot of people feeling the same way as you.
- Don’t isolate. You have to give it a chance in order to enjoy the brand new world that college is, so try to participate in activities and to integrate into a group that you identify with.
- Get help from your home support system. This can be friends in the same situation as you, your parents or siblings (sometimes the distance can make people even closer), or even an LP instructor.
- Seek professional help. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about your feelings with someone outside of your circle.
- Enjoy the journey. This is a unique lifetime experience that will change you and shape your future as a person and professionally, so be sure to enjoy and take advantage of all the lessons learned.
And then, if you continue to feel that you don’t belong to the place after you give every shot, it’s ok to change your mind and try something else -- another school, city, or even another county. We don’t always hit the mark at the very first try; what’s important is to overcome and figure out what’s best for you and what will make you happy.
Good luck and enjoy college!