Looking Back on My First Year

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I have to say my first year of college was nothing I had pictured. I had expected meeting a great group of friends, going out on the weekends to coffee shops and parties, and loving my school with everything I had. Of course I miss the gorgeous Colorado, the campus, and the hikes, but its not like how everyone else feels. All people have been talking about is missing their roommates and best friends from school, not wanting to ever leave, and how they can’t wait to go back. Not me. I don’t have any friends to miss, any people who changed my life, or an atmosphere I couldn’t stand to get away from. I have never been happier to come home and stay.

This past year was dreadful–the worst of my life. I struggled with homesickness, depression, anxiety attacks, and met no people I connected with. I had thought going across the country, alone and independent, was going to be nothing but good for me. It was supposed to be so life-changing. All of my other friends were closer to home and knew people at their schools, I just couldn’t imagine that for myself. I wanted to be different.

I didn’t want to be the cookie cutter girl who stayed close to home, who went onto college with kids from high school, and who was predictable. I’ve seen people make excuses as to why they couldn’t do what I did, and I understand its not always probable or possible money-wise, but being “scared” or just knowing “you couldn’t” didn’t sit right with me. If you want to do it, do it.  I made the deliberate and selfish decision for myself to leave home and leave everything behind. I wanted to experience life, and experience myself, without anyone there to hold me back.

I don’t miss anything about college. I don’t want to go back. I don’t even know if I’ll be there the whole school year. I am applying to other schools this summer.

My freshman year was tough. It was lonely and scary and I became very unstable–mentally and emotionally. I struggled with getting out of bed some days, looking myself in the mirror, and knowing somewhere else all of my friends were living the “college life”. It hurt. I got onto a dark path in my mind, which almost affected me physically.

If it weren’t for someone very special to me, my life may have gone differently. I might be sitting in therapy or at the doctors. This person has been there for me through everything, my ups and downs, my struggles and insecurities, my happiest and best moments, and he still is. He is what stopped me from doing something I may have regretted. He is who I can count on, even from 1000 miles away.

It wasn’t easy, crying myself to sleep more nights than not, having the pressure of big decisions sitting on my shoulders every day, and finding the motivation to keep up with schoolwork. My sister is coming out next year, if I transferred would she still want to go there? My parents had bought us a house to live in, Colorado licenses, signed a lease with me on an apartment, were opening a business out there, and thinking of moving near Fort Collins. If I changed my mind, what would happen to all of those plans? It was all on me. I wasn’t just affecting my life anymore, but everyone else’s. That is something most other college student can’t understand, they don’t have that type of weight on themselves.

I tried joining many clubs, organizations, and groups over the last two semesters. Of all the times I was on the fence about my decisions, I know I was right in each and every one I chose. I felt relieved when I dropped my sorority, I felt refreshed after I went to a pre-vet meeting, and I felt lucky when I was offered an internship at a goat farm and writing opportunities from Mogul. These were things I could hold onto to get through each day.

I stayed busy, I worked, I did homework. But I was on autopilot. I wasn’t fully there for some of it, and thats what I regret. Its hard to explain until it happens to you, but the past five months are a blur. I can’t get them back, I was stuck in my own head for awhile, and now I’m finally starting to find myself again.

I am grateful to be home, and more importantly, to feel healthy again. I don’t dread living anymore and I feel whole again. I am surrounded by my family, by my friends, and by love. Summer will be busy, and fast, but I will cherish each moment. There is nothing else I have to ask for anymore.

 

 

 

 

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