College is Not What I Expected but I’m Living

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Dear Alyson,

All the movies you watched when you were younger deceived you. College turned out like nothing you pictured. They say college brings the best and worst years of your life—what an understatement. While you have newfound freedom to do as you please, you also have newfound responsibilities that you didn’t ask for. Freshman year came as one of the most difficult of your life, but you didn’t always feel this way. At first you had everything figured out (or so you thought). You assumed you were going to come into college completely owning it and life would continue to go amazingly. You’ll come to find out that was far from the truth and learn how to navigate through this hectic time in your life.

If I knew then what I know now, you wouldn’t have felt so lost freshman year.

After Granny and Grandaddy died your sophomore year of high school, you felt completely overwhelmed. But, as with most things, you never dealt with your true feelings. You did what you always do: suppress and delete. You hid things so deeply in your mind, not even your subconscious could retrieve them. It felt like you erased them from memory. You threw yourself into whatever you could to help conceal your emotions. You joined more clubs, took extra shifts at work, stayed out too late with your friends—you did anything to cope.

This carried on through graduation and followed you to college. Freshman year rolled around, and you thought it would come as a breeze. You had always held the title of “straight A student”, you never really had problems making friends and you assumed college would be no different. Girl, you thought so wrong. Sure, it started off that way, but it didn’t last long.

You quit your job at the end of summer to really focus on your classes and to have the time to just enjoy the life of a broke college student. Some students would say your schedule came close to perfect (you only had class Tuesdays and Thursdays) and for the first time in your life, you had free time on your hands. You had time to binge-watch Netflix, to go to the beach with your friends and to waste money you didn’t have. But with all that free time on your hands, those suppressed emotions started to creep back into your mind. And then you started spiraling.

Instead of doing the things you loved, you started spending more and more time alone in your room. Things you thought you had dealt with suddenly came rushing back to the surface. Fears and insecurities you overcame were now posing questions at the forefront of your mind. Getting out of bed was getting more and more difficult and your grades definitely reflected that. You went from a straight A student to barely passing your classes. And the saddest part: You didn’t even realize you had fallen into a state of depression. You lost motivation for all things and looked at even the simplest tasks as a chore. And the whole time your friends and family had no idea.

But guess what. You came out on the other side alive. Just when you thought you could no longer muster the will to live you (we) came back to life. Pulling yourself from the dark place definitely didn’t come easy and you will continue to struggle every day. Take it from someone who’s made it to the other side: It gets better. I know that sounds so cheesy and you don’t want to hear that right now, but it gets so much better.

Little by little you gain motivation back, want to get out of bed more than you want to stay in it and somehow you manage to raise your grades from barely passing to making all B’s for the semester (which I will take any day). I don’t want to give too much away, but trust me, your life turns out amazing. You had a momentary lapse of forgetfulness, but now that you know everything you have to live for, you will never forget again. Just a few spoiler alerts though: Your friends stay amazing, you love your job and you buy your dream car by the age of…..well I’ll let you find that out for yourself.

 

Love,

Alyson Peters

Alyson is a junior at Florida State University studying editing, writing, and media. Her hobbies include wasting time on social media, binge watching TV shows, and of course writing content for College Magazine.

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