Q: I’m a freshman and so far I haven’t really loved my college experience. Most of the people in my dorm are always going out and hanging out in each others rooms but I just don’t feel like I’ve clicked with anyone yet. I’m not sure what to tell my friends from back home who are loving college so far.
A: The first semester (even year) on campus is overwhelming for a lot of people. This is the first time you’ve been surrounded by peers whom you haven’t grown up or gone to school with. Coupled with your brand new environment and most likely increased workload, this can make for a tough adjustment. What’s important to keep in mind is that things aren’t always as they appear to be. Many new students feel pressure to romanticize their college experience because most people want to seem like they’re having the time of their lives. Our culture (movies, books, social media) has created a stereotypical idea of what college is. It’s natural that we feel pressure to live up to it.
A lot of freshman students form friend groups right away. It might seem like everyone has clicked already, but in many cases those friendships change dramatically as people begin to find their place. A lot of these friendships are formed simply out of convenience, like the students who live on your floor or in your hall.
To sum it up, give things time. Don’t let your experience be tainted by your idea of what it should be. Allow yourself time to adjust and find a routine before you doom yourself to be friendless. College sometimes forces you to venture out of your comfort zone, which might be key to making lasting friendships and being content in your new environment.
Q: I’m a senior this year and I’m panicking about graduation, mainly about finding a job after and my future in general. I don’t have a clear career path planned and the idea of being thrown into the real world is freaking me out. HELP.
A: I know this feeling all too well. As terrifying and stressful as I’m sure the idea of all of it is right now, know that so many others are in the same boat as you. We get used to the idea of being a student full time during our college years, and the thought of having to get a real job and actually “adult” for the first time after graduating is a thought I personally hate to even entertain sometimes. For the sake of your well being, take a deep breath and try not to worry about what you can’t immediately control. If you’re being proactive in searching for job opportunities or even just considering what you might like to do in the future, then that’s great. I know it seems like the only way to be successful right now is to have it all figured out as soon as graduation day comes, but life doesn’t always work like that. So understand that life changes every day, which means your situation can change and new opportunities can come your way, as long as you’re open to them and willing to put in the work.
For further resources, check out career services on campus.