You’re Here…Now What?

You’ve been thinking about this day for years, preparing for it for months, counting down the days to it for the entire summer, and now here it is staring at you face to face. Move in day has finally arrived and on the surface you are probably bursting with joy, giddy with excitement about all the possibilities and freedom lying directly ahead of you! You’re a “college kid” now—you make your own schedule and play by your own rules! You can stay out all night and sleep in all day, and in a few months you’ll come home for the holidays with that “grown up glow” because you will have it “all together.” You have the perfect timeline for you freshman year: you’ll be best friends with your roommate, get into all the organizations you go out for, miraculously avoid the freshman 15, and make straight A’s while maintaining a great social life. You have it all planned out, and you’re on the fast track to success! That is until you watch your parents’ car disappear into the skyline headed back home and you’re standing on the curb of an unfamiliar dorm, at an unfamiliar school, surrounded by a terrifying number of unknowns, choices, and people you barely know.

So you’ll awkwardly retreat up to your room and try to find something to occupy yourself. You’ll start to make some new acquaintances and get in a routine with your classes, and when you parents call you’ll tell them that everything is going great, because you really can’t complain, but at the end of the day, life may seem kind of stagnant. The time that you have been imaging for years, may not look exactly like what you expected in those first few weeks, and that is okay. It’s okay to feel homesick, lonely, bored, and confused—in fact it’s perfectly normal. College is like nothing else you have ever experienced before and it is a HUGE adjustment that’s going to take some getting used to. You are going to have moments when you aren’t quite sure what to do with yourself and times when it seems like it would be much easier to pack up and head back home.

But here’s the deal, you have two options. One, you can hole up in your dorm and wonder if you have made a terrible mistake leaving home. You can spend your days watching Netflix under a tent of covers with a slice of Domino’s pizza in hand, wondering why nothing is going as planned. Or, you can make the choice to DO EVERYTHING. Go sit on the quad, get lunch at “the Ferg”, decide on the perfect study spot, explore “the Strip” and “Downtown”! This campus that seems to go on forever is filled to the brim with opportunities and it’s up to you to leave your room and seize them! The sooner you decide to put yourself out there, the quicker you will adjust to life in your new home. Everyone is experiencing these feelings to some extent, so don’t be scared to make a new friend or go to a meeting for an organization that interests you! College is the time to find yourself, so our campus is full of resources to help you find a community that will help you do so. So take a deep breath and take control of your college experience, because I promise that once you take that first step, it only gets better.

Roll Tide,

Carlyle Ascik

Contributor for Campus Life