Don’t give up, keep moving forward

I’m going to be very open and honest with you all right now. My first semester of college sucked. I mean, it wasn’t the absolute worst thing to happen to me, but it definitely was not the best time of my life.

I’m telling you this because I want to give you the heads up that I would have liked before stepping into the college life. You could have the absolute opposite experience and have a really amazing first semester, and if you do, good! I hope that’s how it is for everyone. But I now also know the reality of what college can sometimes be like.

It was a semester where I really learned to not romanticize everything. Yes, it will be filled with friends, food, and fun but that’s only after you finally find all of those things. And it’s a lot harder than it seems.

Every freshman at your college is going to be thinking about the same things. How am I going to make friends? How does lunch work? What happens when I get sick? Will there be things to do on the weekends? Especially the first one. When people first arrive at college, there is a immediate need to flock and find friends. And most of the time, the college you’ll attend will “assist” you with this process.

Don’t think this means you’ll automatically find people you click with. This forcible mingling will (most of the time) just make you feel uncomfortable and obligated to make friends with whoever comes to talk to you first. Yes, there are possibilities to find people with your sense of humor or that likes the same T.V. shows as you, but there is something more that you need to find. Personally, I found about one person I really connected with. And while one is more than none, it still didn’t fill my needs.

So I spent a semester struggling through figuring out how much time I need to spend outside of class, deciding whether or not I should go exercise, figuring out what I could do on all the lonely nights it felt like I was continuing to re-live over and over again. And it wasn’t until my second semester that I began to feel a part of the university I had joined

I made a group of friends who were not people I would have ever imagined hanging out with, but we all somehow managed to mesh into a big messed up family. My writing classes became more challenging, and I began pushing myself in ways I never had before. Iowa City was now my city and I couldn’t feel happier about it.

The comfort and the happiness don’t come overnight. You must work at it and for it. There will be days where you’ll want to give up and go back home so you’re mother can feed you food and rub your head. But if you can push through the lowest of the lows, you’ll make it. It won’t be easy and sometimes it’ll be an absolutely miserable time. But I promise if you try your hardest and don’t give up, there will be a day where you’ll feel like a part of the college life you wanted.

Every experience is different; meaning your college first semester might go super well. It also means that you might still feel uneasy after your second semester. What I’m trying to get at is as long as you don’t give up and you make sure you’re doing all you can, things will work themselves out. Keep on going, trooper.

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Abby Thomas

Abby Thomas

Abby Thomas is a freshman at University of Iowa studying Journalism and Nonfiction Creative Writing. She plans to one day be able to get paid to travel around the world writing about her adventures. The day you can find her travel book on the shelves of bookstores will be the day she has finally reached her life goal. When she is not pursuing her dreams of travel writing, she is either at the University's radio station or on her computer wasting time on Tumblr and Netflix.