To the girl who hated her first semester of college:
Wait, what? Is that even possible? You’ve flown the nest with big plans to make a plethora of new friends, obtain a 4.0 GPA and an out-of-state boyfriend in the span of a semester. You planned on finding the perfect church, joining the best extracurriculars and landing that on-campus job you wanted by at least week two or three. Every day would be a party: new, exciting, and filled with Cookout quesadillas and iced coffee. You would wonder how on earth you lived in your boring hometown for 18 years.
Maybe your plans prevailed. Your new friends are visiting you over break and you passed your Gen Eds with ease. But what happens when your plans flop? When the college you chose doesn’t feel like a perfect match after all? When you go a whole semester without finding those future-bridesmaid friendships everyone told you you’d find in college? When you miss home? When you feel alone and stressed and low-key miserable every day? Well, honey, that was me. And maybe, if you’ve clicked on this blog post because of its title, it’s you too.
For me, being home for Christmas break felt like being at Disney World compared to being at school. (Never been to Disney, but I’ve heard stories and have a remarkable imagination) I hated being at school. I wasn’t thriving in the slightest. Over break, I exchanged stories with friends from home about our first semesters. They beamed with pride about their colleges. They told hilarious stories about their hallmates. They explained how they just couldn’t wait to get back to school. I didn’t get it. They wanted to go back? I was begging God to slow down time so I wouldn’t have to. But of course, I would never tell anyone that. I needed people to think I was thriving like everyone else, so I posted the pictures and pretty much just lied through my teeth when people asked me how I was adapting. “It’s great! I love it! Yay college!”
If you’re reading this and relating to everything I’m saying, hi and welcome to “My Freshman Year Was Not What I Thought it Would Be” support group. This is a safe space. First off, know that you are not alone. I know it feels like you’re the only person in the world who isn’t head over heels in love with freshman year, but I promise you, you aren’t. Think about it. When you started college, you probably moved to a brand new city where you knew a handful of people, if that. You’re surrounded by strangers, trying to manage a college course load for the first time, and living in a little cement box that feels like a prison cell with stringed lights. Give yourself some credit, starting college is hard and whether you realize it or not everyone is struggling to adjust in one way or another.
If I could tell my freshman year self three things, this is what I would say:
McKenna Best is a Carolina girl currently residing in the bachelorette and hipster capital of the world. She believes in Jesus, dancing in the kitchen, and slow mornings. McKenna is an assistant youth director and spends her afternoons working with middle schoolers in West Nashville. In her free time, you can find her eating Chipotle, making an excessive amount of Spotify playlists, writing in a coffee shop, watching The Office, or spontaneously buying a plane ticket somewhere. She is passionate about equipping youth to unlock their potential and be all that God has called them to be, whether that be through teaching Bible lessons, or writing articles for a variety of online platforms