If I had one phrase to tell my college-bound self it would be: love yourself. I think when most students go off to college they fall into an array of traps that leads them to self-doubt.
I have always been a sentimental person who feels very deeply. When I started college and was bombarded with so many different emotions at once, this was very difficult. Too distressed about how I was perceived by others, I worried myself sick wondering if my old friends would forget me and if I would ever make new friends.
Am I the only one?
I also thought I was the only one who felt this way. My mind would see other college students and assume they were happy, carefree, and finding their group of friends flawlessly. What I didn’t know is that most college students will feel what I felt. They will constantly compare themselves and their acclimation to other students. FOMO or “fear of missing out” will plague them on their first Friday night when they’re watching a movie with their roommate rather than hanging out with a large group “experiencing college life.”
Everyone has a different experience.
The truth is, though, no one’s college experience is the same. Realizing that sooner rather than later will save you tremendous heartache. That random roommate match who I shared many nights in with is now one of my closest friends three years later. If I would have been doing what I thought I “should” be doing, I might not have formed that bond.
Genuinely love yourself.
When I say “love yourself”, I mean it. Do not worry about what others may think of you. Of course, be a kind and respectful person, but do not be afraid to be yourself. If there is a person who doesn’t like you, don’t worry. There will be plenty who do. Do not waste your time worrying over what you “should” be doing, instead focus on what you o do. Activities that make you happy and fulfilled. Participating in those activities is how you will find happiness in college, not trying to fit into a crowd where you don’t feel comfortable.
Remember, college is your experience. No one else’s. It is the best time to figure out what truly makes you happy. These activities will lead you to a life of fulfillment and a career that hopefully combines both of those.
Enjoy the ride and love yourself.