One year of college gone by, and life feels almost exactly the same as it did before.
Many people talk about college as a "period of great growth" or a "chance to reinvent yourself" or something like that. And for some people—a lot of people—it really is. I could tell that some of my friends were really growing a lot in their first years in college, and I was truly happy for them. But not everyone goes through a huge transformation like that.
For me, it feels like there were only minimal changes between high school and college. I had fewer friends and much more free time. I continued my life almost exactly as I had before college, with a couple small differences, like playing Marble Blast less and piano more to occupy my time. Classes were mostly not too troublesome, occasionally really dumb though. The math and physics ones made me happiest.
By far the best part about college was at least having a couple friends. Without them it would have been so much harder to get through the year. We ate lots of meals together and had long conversations about lots of useless topics (which is not to say we didn't have any intelligent ones). We also gave each other emotional support, which was very much needed at times.
However, something that I couldn't really get away from was just how immature most of the people seemed to be, even on the honors' floor. It was discouraging to think that so many people were very self-absorbed and always so loud, not the type of people that I wanted to be around at all, let alone be friends with. I was lucky to get paired with a very kind and mature roommate who I quickly became very good friends with, but it took me quite a while to find other people who I felt comfortable around. Later in the year, a couple girls from my classes kept inviting me to parties, but since there would be drugs and alcohol there I had to decline, making sure they knew it was nothing against them. However, I still only have scarcely three people there who I would consider true friends, so that's definitely something to work on.
One very important skill I did learn from college was how to deal with loneliness. I was lonely a lot—my roommate being very social, rarely in the room, and me not being social at all, always in the room—so when I wasn't doing homework, I had to occupy my time with things other than wasting away at my desk. Before I started spending more time with people outside my room, talking with my roommate would be the only form of meaningful social interaction I had. When he wasn't there for long periods of time I would quickly get very sad, and that plus a particularly evil calculus assignment one night eventually drove me to tears.
After that, I went to the student counseling center once, but I knew the only way to fix the problem was just to spend more time with people. I didn't want to accept that I needed to do that, but I suppose that if college was a period of growth in any way, that's how I grew, if only a bit. Maybe next year will be better, what with living in a real house on campus with my roommate from this year and two of his friends.
At the moment, I'm just going to occupy myself with useful things this summer, namely learning LaTeX and taking a Linear Algebra course online, before I go back to school in August, hopefully for a more enjoyable year than the last one.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jeff, Weather
Hey NatureFreak, I am sorry for bumping this thread but I have read your post and I found it really interesting as I am also a university student, specifically I study sociology!
I am 20 years old and I finished my second year of my studies and I really want to express my own view about it:
As you aptly said, a lot of people say that university years are life-changing and you start living as an independent person and your life dramatically changes, I never saw the first, and there are many reasons why! The main reason is that I still live with my parents because Greece is an economically average to poor country due to political issues, so I don't have my own apartment and I still live as I used to when I was a school student! I wake up, I follow my university schedule, and when conditions are right, I hang out with my friends!
My emotions about my university life are mixed! At first view, university gave me a chance to avoid toxic people from my school life and meet new people with same interests, as I actually did! I met some really nice people that I can call friends (I keep contact with my old friends ofc), and I also met a girl I used to date for more than one year (We made up but now we broke.. sh*t happens ), I had some nice experiences with them, nice talks, hang outs, etc, and I really found interesting after some time the content that political sciences provided to me!
On the other side of the coin, I had some really bad experiences that changed a lot my life: When I was on the first year of university, Ι was really hyped to meet new people and discover a new world of information and knowledge! But when I finished my first semester exams, I started losing my interest to that routine! I have to mention that you don't have to be present at lectures in order to pass the exams, so you can get into the classroom whenever you want! When I lost that interest, I was going to watch the lectures once or twice a week. I also started losing my interest hanging out with my friends, and generally I was not happy! I was observing other people having progress with their lives, working, getting their driving license, building their future and I was just stagnating, doing nothing. Nothing that brought me happiness at past could bring me happiness then, and I was just a miserable guy that was pretending he was having fun when he was hanging out! I was eating less and less, and my routine was just waking up and playing videogames until I had to go at the lectures or hang out with my friends or my girlfriend! After six months, that condition went worse, and I decided to visit a psychologist! My psychologist after two visits told me that I was mentally healthful and nothing was going wrong with me. The thing that was not going well with me was that I couldn't adapt to the adult life and I was still living as a teenager with no goals, interests and hobbies at all!
I decided after a lot of struggles to change that. I found out that my body was a big reason I was feeling insecure with my self as I was very skinny! So I decided to go to gym and I managed to eat more! A small goal every day was/is exercising my body! Then I decided to talk with my friends about my problem! Sometimes talking with someone you trust is a life saver because they can help you by giving you advises and you can also hear yourself talking which is a good way to face your problems! I found my interest about my studies by going to university more often. I also save my money in order to do driving lessons and take my driving license and make my transport to the city easier! I am starting step by step feeling more mature and I really enjoy it, but I have a long way ahead as I am overthinking everything and sometimes this keeps me idle..
So this is my story until now! I hope you find your way soon and anything that you read above was useful.
Best wishes my friend!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Nature Freak
College is really difficult like that—it's hard to find your place in a new environment, and I experienced being miserable myself, just because I was insecure and didn't have friends. This year I only have two friends, but for whatever reason my outlook has changed. Maybe it comes from having my own room, or from having more routine work to do. I still wish I had more friends though, and maybe a boyfriend as well (although it's way too much effort to find the right person).
And I'm very glad that you got help. Never feel ashamed to go to therapy, even if you don't think you need it enough. I'm struggling with this thought process now, because I haven't yet gone to therapy or counseling this year when I really think I should. Maybe I'll get around to it at some point—you've done better than me in that respect! And congratulations for actually being able to start working out! I haven't done that either, and that's something that I've wanted but not felt motivated to do ever. At the moment, classes are taking priority over other personal goals, but I hope to get back to those at some point.
We all had/have insecurities, especially on the period of teenage. But never forget, past belongs to past, present is now, and it is in your hands to have a better future. Real friends are less than 5 (You have to be very lucky in your life to have five real friends), the others are just companies just for time filling and they will possibly betray you. I also had a lot of insecurities when I was younger and I still have ofc, but day by day I am getting over them as I learned from my mistakes and now I am focusing on myself. If you manage to do some physical exercise, eat balanced and healthy, have a hobby (art, playing a sport, reading... It's up to you), be loyal and polite and spend more time with your 2 friends, sooner and sooner you will feel more comfortable with yourself and you will reach things easier. Remember, you have to feel comfortable with yourself if you want to feel comfortable with anyone else.
Getting a boyfriend is easier for a girl than getting a girlfriend for boys imo. But I really liked you said you want to find someone you match and you are not the type of girls that wan't just to have fun with boys.. I really wish you the best. When you boost your self-confidence you will have achieved the 50% of your goal!
Looking forward to hear more for your life as time goes on!