There’s this idea that college kicks your ass, but you have fun in the process. You get to play by your own rules, meet new people, party whenever you want, take amazing classes, and make lifelong friendships that you’ll cherish for the rest of forever. Hey, it’s true, all of these things are possible in college. But we need to dispel the idea that college is a good time for everyone, and that something is wrong with you if you’re not loving it.
Fun fact: There are some people who are absolutely miserable in college, especially during their freshman year.
If this describes you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, looking back on it, the first semester of my freshman year left me feeling pretty bummed out. I didn’t have a lot of friends yet and I was worried that the university I decided to attend was a bad fit. Things got better, and I ended up having a pretty damn good college experience, but it was a rough start. If this sounds familiar and you’re feeling straight up miserable in college, check out these seven things you need to know. You have options, dude, never forget that!
Problem: You Don't Think Your School Is A Good FitRemember: You can always transfer if you aren't really feeling your school. But ask yourself some questions first: Do you not like the school's overall vibe and academic focus? Then yeah, a change in scenery might do you some good. But if you're just frustrated because college, in general, isn't what you expected, changing schools isn't going to solve that problem. In other words, be real about your reasons for wanting to bail: Is it the school itself or is it your attitude? Legally Blonde
Problem: You Don't Really Have Friends YetUgh, college friendship can be so weird. You can be really tight with people who live in your dorm hall for the first few months, and by the end of the year you barely hang out. Been there, done that. Your best bet is to find people to befriend in your classes, because that means you already probably have something in common, either in interest or major. Seriously, strike up a conversation with that person you're intrigued by. Talk about anything, from the assignment to how dope their outfit is. Anything to break the ice. This is how some of my best college friendships started, and many are still going strong to this day! Also, consider joining clubs and organizations next year. Fresh Meat
Problem: Your Mental Health Is A MessThis is incredibly common to experience when you're in college. You're in a new environment full of new stressors, and that can trigger some latent mental health issues that you either didn't know existed or knew about, but never experienced to such a strong degree. Also, a lot of people start to exhibit signs of mental health issues in their late teens and twenties, so don't assume you're alone in this; a big chunk of the student body is dealing with this too. Check out the therapist on campus--yes, your school definitely has one--and see if they recommend therapy, medication, etc. You have lifelines, use them without shame. Empire Records
Problem: Your Love Life Is AwfulFact: Dating in college sucks. Honestly, it barely even exists. If hookups aren't really your thing and you're looking for something a little more real, you're in for a bit of a rocky ride. But you're not alone in your quest to find romance that is more than just a couple of sex sessions and ghosting. If you aren't finding many people to start a relationship with at mixers and house parties, definitely try on campus clubs and organizations. Oh, and don't negate apps! Try dating apps that are more aimed toward long-term relationships (like OkCupid). You might not get the results you're looking for every time, but you're not totally hopeless. A Different World
Problem: Your Grades SuckThis isn't the end of the world just yet. You can always improve your grades over the coming years. A lot of people have messy freshman years when it comes to their grades, especially if they spend more time partying than studying. Just make sure you're on your game by first semester next year. If you're not, you should really consider some tutoring. My Mad Fat Diary
Problem: You Don't Feel Challenged Enough/You Want To Take Different CoursesFreshman year is often pretty breezy compared to the rest of your university career, so don't assume that the next few years will be easy. However, if you're really looking for a challenge, definitely consider some electives courses in a department that's different than your major/primary focus of study. You can find some really interesting courses that challenge you in a way that most of your classes don't. Also, if your university is in a college town or city with other universities, see if your school has a consortium program. In these programs, colleges agree to take students from other nearby schools to take a courses there. My school was in a program like this, and I was able to take a feminist theory course at a nearby college that wasn't offered at mine. I didn't even know I could do this until my senior year! So don't hesitate to ask your advisor if this is a possibility. Gilmore Girls
Problem: You're RestlessPlease, I implore you to study abroad sometime in your second or third year of college. You can even study abroad for an entire school year! You'll never get an other opportunity to stay in another country for such a long period of time, so take advantage of it. Before Sunset
How was your freshman year? Was it what you expected? Better? Worse? Tell us in the comments!