All anyone could ever talk about in high school was how ready they were to leave. I was one of those people, eager to move far away from the commonalities of my small town and enter the big and exciting life of a university student. Complete freedom from my parents, my own place, no one would be able to stop me; it all sounded like a dream. Little did I know how wrong that depiction of the average life of a university student was.
Upon entering my brand new home for the next couple of months, I was overwhelmed with emotions. Before anything was set down I was visually planning how I would rearrange my room, the placement of my fairy lights, and where I was going to put my entertainment system. I was so focused on my room that I didn’t even notice my parents saying goodbye to me. I finally completed unpacking and my room was perfect. There was only one problem. I had no one to share it with. I was the first person to move in and suddenly feeling incredibly lonely. That feeling never went away. Despite making friends and being busy with classes, nothing compares to being at home surrounded by the family that loves you.
“This will prepare you for university.” I think that is the biggest lie my high school teachers ever been told me. I walked into my five first year classes expecting to be completely and utterly prepared for anything my professor had to throw at me. “Bring it on,” I would think. Those expectations were shut down real fast. 10 minutes into the syllabus I realized I was in trouble; this class was going to be tough. Now imagine feeling that way four more times. The workload from one class was enough from one semester in high school and it got more and more hectic each passing day.
The movies always show people becoming best friends with their roommates. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Don’t get me wrong, you will meet some amazing people whether it be your roommate or merely people in your common living area. However, my case was the complete opposite of my expectations. There were five girls in my dorm room since we had an apartment style: one was an international student, one had her own friend group, one was a pot-head, and another was the only down to earth girl there. Due to all of our extreme personalities, we always butted heads and words were said. I only managed to befriend one of the girls and she ended up leaving halfway through the year. Talk about feeling lonely all over again!
Freshman 15 is always this horror story people talk about when you go to university. “You’re going to get so fat!” I always thought this was some sort of ploy to ensure I was eating healthy and didn’t just consider a bag of Cheetos for my dinner (which I did multiple times). It is real. I ended up gaining FORTY pounds. The amount of food I was eating daily didn’t even phase me and I was eating roughly 5 large meals a day. Finally, I went to the doctor and was told my health had depleted significantly. That’s when I realized what I had done. And let me tell you, it’s hard as fuck to lose that weight and get healthy again!
I know I must have scared some of you. And I should have. You should be worried. You should be anxious. But something I haven’t told you yet… everything always turns out okay. Despite the loneliness, I learned who my true friends were and it mended my relationship with my parents who I am incredibly close with now. The workload stresses you the hell out, but stress is good. Despite what they told you in high school, university does teach you about the future and working full time. The workload teaches you time management, and how to be diligent and precise in everything that you do. Your roommates aren’t your only friends. Every school has homecoming and freshman orientation. You WILL meet people and they will be the greatest friends you can have in university. They will have your back and you’ll make amazing memories together. Finally, weight can always be lost. And now that I’ve warned you a bit about it, I’m hoping you will steer clear of (some) junk foods and try to maintain your health. Eating healthy sucks, but it really does affect your study habits and that is the most important thing. You are there to learn, but all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Live a little! Don’t stress out too much! Study hard, but have some beers. Regardless of what you do, just remember… everything ALWAYS turns out okay.
Feature image via CollegeWeekly