Dealing With Disappointing College Experiences

College is supposed to be the best four years of your life, but what happens when it isn’t? Dealing with disappointing college experiences is tough, especially if you haven’t developed a strong support system on campus. Going into my first year of school I was constantly told that this would be one of the best times of my life, but as a freshman I was generally miserable, and this really upset me. Why wasn’t I enjoying school as much as my friends? Was I doing something wrong? It’s important to remember that not everyone transitions smoothly into college or that sometimes the college that you thought you would love turns out to not be the right fit for you. Whatever the reason, I offer the following suggestions for college students who find themselves struggling.

Find Out Where The Problem Lies

When I really thought about it, it was clear to me why I was having such a hard time at college. Although I enjoyed my classes and loved the friends I had made, the size and the location of my college made it hard for me to fully enjoy my college experience. I felt isolated and claustrophobic; which made me both anxious and depressed. Everyone is different, and one of the great things about college is that it teaches you about yourself. When I originally applied to schools I was positive that I wanted a small, tight-knit community that I could be a part of. Now that I was in the midst of such a community I found it stifling and craved anonymity. If you are really unhappy at school, try and pinpoint what it is that is making you that way, because once you identify the problem, it becomes easier to fix.

Consider Your Options

Once I had decided that I was truly unhappy at college and did not want to stay there for another three years I had to think about what I could do to fix the problems I was having. For me, dropping out was not an option. I didn’t want to take a year off, either. For me, the most logical thing to do was transfer to a school that offered what my current one lacked. While this was the best decision for me, this doesn’t mean that it is the answer for everyone who is having a tough time at college. If you are unhappy at college because you are homesick or are having a hard time making friends, think about other things you can do to improve your experience, as these are the types of problems that are likely to follow you no matter where you go. For example, you could try joining a club or an intramural sports team as a way to meet new people. This is why it is so important to identify where your problems lie.

Don’t Give Up On Yourself Or Your College Experience

It’s important to remember that, like most everything, college has both its ups and downs. It’s not uncommon for many people to go through an adjustment period. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a harder time than anticipated getting into the swing of college life. Put yourself out there and push yourself to try new things and meet new people. If you are still unhappy, take time to think about what is making you that way and what you can do to make it better.

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Brianna Low

Brianna Low

Brianna Low is a rising senior at DePaul University pursuing a double major in English and Spanish. Brianna enjoys reading, writing, and traveling. She currently works for DePaul's Art Department as a receptionist and hopes to one day work in a library. Brianna is happiest when surrounded by books.
Brianna Low

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