“Your first year at college is the hardest”
Maybe that’s why so many kids drop out after their first semester. I saw students that I had known from Kindergarten drop out, students I went to high school with drop out. It’s easy to judge these kids and say college isn’t for them, they drank too much and went to class too little, or they just didn’t cut it.
While some of that could be true, I’m calling BS. From personal experience I can say that during my first year of college it was incredibly tempting to call it quits. And for me, admitting this is terrifying because my whole life I had to be stronger and better than anyone else. Then, college kicked my ass.
During my first year, it wasn’t that my classes were too hard for me that made me consider moving back home, it was an overwhelming change in all areas of my life. I went from a girl in high school who had her closest friends around all the time (thanks to my dance team) and an unbreakable support system because of that. Moving to college didn’t break that support system but if they were my bridge that got me over things, I was in California and my bridge was in New York. Or so it felt. I suddenly had to create a whole new friend group and at first I thought it was going perfect, I had a boyfriend and a roommate who was my best friend. While this was great for a few weeks or so, it wasn’t enough. After a particularly rough few months, I decided that I needed to branch out more. I met more people and while some of them were AMAZING and some were… less than, it still wasn’t enough. It wasn’t more people that I needed, I needed more me.
After so many ways that college changes someone’s life in a matter of practically seconds, of course so many people drop out and go home where it’s comfortable, where it’s safe, where they can forget who they became (or didn’t become) in school. But the thing that kept me going was knowing that if I could get out of bed every day, go to class, and try something new, I would eventually become who I want to be. It’s not easy to find out exactly what makes you miserable when your whole world changes but changing one thing at a time for the better eventually gets you to where you want to be. By the end of my freshman year, I had met some great girls who were always there for me, I tried boxing, barre class, hip hop dancing, and so much more. I’m not perfect now but I’m going in the right direction for who I want to be.
So for anyone who is scared to move away to college, for anyone who feels like they just don’t fit in at the school they’re at, for anyone who is so tempted to drop out and move home, follow your heart. Make baby steps to be the person you want to be. College seems overwhelming but it doesn’t have to loom over you. Maybe dropping out is truly the best thing for you but if your heart isn’t 100% in that decision, don’t do it. You’re there for a reason, you followed your heart to school, now follow your heart to making you the best you can be while you’re there.