Everyone always told me, “College is this big, scary, overwhelming thing. But that’s okay–everyone goes through it, you will too.” Problem is, I’m not actually going through that. Do I feel a little alone? Yeah, but it’s no more than I have felt in any new social situation ever. Are the classes different, harder? I guess, but I’m used to taking on new academic challenges. Sort of.
I think what keeps me from being super overwhelmed about this large life change is that I don’t view it as a large life change. I’ve always seen college as just “the next thing.” I’m someone who looks far into the future, all the time; like, five-ten-fifty years down the road. I always thought that was normal, to think about your life that far ahead. So College, this scary thing with a capital C, never seemed that far-off and looming. I expected to feel a little lonely at college, but I never expected the meltdown that so many of my elders had described.
My mother always tells me the story of how, when her parents dropped her off, she sat in a bathroom stall and cried for what felt like hours. That’s perfectly valid. I have always respected that it’s hard to be away from family–hell, my family is the only group of people I don’t feel lonely with, and even then I do at times. Now that I’m here, I realize that College is not this big deal everyone is making it only because I never let it be.
To me, life feels like a vine creeping up an endless fence; growing, changing, getting stronger, but never moving, never breaking. I’ll go into the “endless” part in another post.