I’ve heard many people talk about how sad they are to be finished with their freshman year of college, and how much they’re going to miss their school for three months.
But I’m the opposite. While I will miss the friends I made at school, I can’t wait to be home for three months, see my family, and hang out with my old friends. I can’t wait to be back somewhere where I can run wherever I want without worrying about trying not to go off campus. I’m excited about being able to eat meals where I won’t be disappointed every time.
This past year was pretty rough, specifically this past semester.
What many people won’t tell you about going to a private college is that the pressure to do well and be involved in a ton of things is sky high. I constantly felt like what I was doing wasn’t enough, that I had to sign up for this leadership position and that I had to act a certain way. Freshmen around me were applying for internships, something that had not even crossed my mind yet.
I felt like an outsider in my own sorority for a while and if I’m being honest, I debated dropping. I felt like I wasn’t being as fearless as I wanted to be. I wasn’t sure how to be myself and have people like me at the same time. I struggled with being away from my family, my cross-country/track team, and being around people all day, everyday.
While I understand that going to Drake is a great opportunity, and I worked really hard to get here, I now realize that it comes at a high price. It comes at the price of your peace of mind, and sometimes health. The ambition in me was yelling at me that I wasn’t doing enough- I had to be a better writer, I had to get my name out there, I had to get involved with more activities.
As a result, I dealt with multiple anxiety attacks and was running on few hours of sleep. But it also made me stronger in this weird way I can’t really describe. As I leave my freshman year behind me, I know I am much more capable than I thought. I became stronger mentally.
I learned more in my first year of college than I expected. I learned the kind of people I want and don’t want in my life and that taking time for yourself is absolutely necessary. I learned that blood doesn’t necessarily mean that people will act like family. I’ve made big strides with self-love, for my body and mind. I started trusting my instincts and my intelligence more. I stood up for what I believe in more.
Despite my many doubts surrounding my writing and leadership abilities, I’ve grown a lot in both those areas. I have slowly started to stop comparing myself to others. Regardless of these doubts, I feel more confident leaving this place than I did when I first arrived.
I couldn’t have done any of this on my own either. My parents have never stopped supporting my decisions, or me. They helped me get through too many problems to count. Another person I have to thank is my boyfriend, who helped talk me through many of my self-doubts and worries. Even though we had many ups and downs this past year, I couldn’t have made it to the end without him. Thank you also to my friends back home, who kept me sane and grounded.
And last of all, thank you to the friends I made in my hall, who listened to me vent and dealt with my idiosyncrasies. They made my year much more enjoyable and interesting. If I didn’t meet this group of people, I’m not sure how different this year would’ve gone.
I did the best I could with my time so far at Drake, and I couldn’t have asked myself to give any more than I did. I came out of this year with more experience, new friends, and with a better image of myself.
There will be better days ahead, and I can’t wait to experience them both at Drake and at home.