To All Freshman Girls Who Are Trying to Navigate College

It is okay.

So you’ve got a few days of college experience under your belt, and your emotions are flying high. You’re trying to navigate friends, classes, clubs, parties, boys, and much, much more. You might be so caught up in the chaos that you don’t even realize the chaos exists. Just remember to breathe.

Your favorite roomie who sounded perfect in every single way while you talked all night on Facebook chat this holiday, who actually loves blasting classical music on Friday nights and is taking up way more than half of the room and can’t hold her or his alcohol? You probably thought that you two would be attached at the hip, and now you’re not.

It is okay.
Maybe there’s a guy who you totally thought was going to be your bff because you both have cousins in the town and love quoting Mean Girls and have matching dorm room color schemes, but she didn’t text you back for dinner tonight. Or He sat next to a different girl in class. Or He doesn’t say hi to you when you walk by each other.

It is okay.
There’s a lot about college that people don’t tell you. They tell you about all the crazy frat parties that are “soooo lit.” They tell you that classes are difficult, but don’t worry because you’ll find something you love! They tell you that it is the best four years of your life and you should make it count. Where are those lifelong friends that everyone talks about?

Everyone tells you that the hard times get better, but they rarely tell you that it is okay.

It is okay to feel like you don’t have “real friends.”

It is okay to miss your high school besties.

It is okay to call your mom and cry about the 200 pages of Greek Philosophy reading that you have for the class that some Senior told you was an “easy A.”

It is okay to wait until you are sure that your roommate is at dinner and then cry your eyes out because you have no freaking clue what you are doing.

It is okay to feel like you are totally fine, but it is also okay to feel like you have nothing figured out.

You see, what people don’t tell you is that everyone (or most people) feels exactly the same. You all strut around campus in your favorite spirit jerseys and the coolest Ray Bans and pretend to have it all figured out. Here’s a little secret: even the upperclassmen have no idea what they’re doing.

I’m not saying it is easy. By God, my freshman fall was the hardest three months of my entire life. And no, that is not a joke.

I spent the first month crying every single day over a fling, since I still expected the kid to talk to me every single day after I’d dumped him right before leaving for school. Dramaaaaaa.

I got my first C in a class. S t r e s s.

I had one friend for the first two weeks of college and I was so scared of parties that we walked in, said hi to some friends, and walked right back out in under five minutes.

Conversely, I finally conquered my party fear and went out with a few of my friends, only to be dragged into a stairwell by a sketchy senior who started making out with me. Cue terror for two more months.

I was diagnosed with anxiety at the end of the fall semester, and I finally realized how important it is to put your own mental health before anything else.

I wish someone had told me it was okay. Sure, life kind of sucked, but I also learned more about myself than ever before and realized just how strong I can be.

So if you are scared, alone, confident, stressed, anxious, happy, sad, or all of the above, embrace it and keep going. This year is going to be a wild roller coaster of emotions, and you’re about to crush it. Yeah, there may be some puking here and there (that’s how we learn our tolerance, right?), but I promise that it will be worth it in the end. And when you get off the ride in May, you may be a little green-faced, but I’m pretty sure you’ll buy a ticket to get on that roller coaster again for sophomore year.

Buckle up. It’s going to be a crazy ride, but that’s kind of part of the fun, isn’t it?

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