Adjusting to college can be a problem for many people. I have always been someone who thrives on change. New always seemed better to me. I entered college feeling excited and fearless. My first year flew by and I left freshman year feeling confident in myself and the choices that I made. But once I began my sophomore year, everything felt different. I began to feel overwhelmed by the amount of change occurring. I was no longer the confident girl I use to be. I was now insecure and afraid. I started losing control of my mental health. When people on campus asked me how I was doing, I would always lie and say I was fine. I began to excel at pretending everything was okay. It was easier that way. I didn’t want to burden anyone with my problems. I secretly hoped that if I lied and told people I was doing okay, I would maybe start to believe I was.
Fall break was slowly approaching and I knew that many of my friends had their break the same time that I did. I also knew that many of my friends seemed to be doing very well based on social media posts. I prepared myself to put on a brave face and pretend everything was just fine. I met up with a few friends last Saturday and we began to talk about our semester so far. I decided to begin. I wanted to deliver a good performance. I really did. But it was time to stop pretending. I told my friends that I truly wasn’t doing the best. I described the many changes that took place in my life. I allowed myself to speak honestly about how isolated and frightened I felt. I finished and waited until someone spoke. There wasn’t a long pause until someone began to talk. To my surprise, they agreed with me. They told me that their year was not off to a great start and they have had a hard time adjusting. All of a sudden, my other friends verbalized their agreement and we started and open and honest dialogue with one another. It made me sad to hear that my friends were not doing well, but it was so comforting to know that there were people who knew exactly what I was going through.
My advice to anyone who is going through a rough time in their life is to stop pretending. Pretending is only a temporary fix. I encourage you to be honest with those around you and tell others how you truly feel. While I know this is much easier said than done, the results pay off. I am doing much better than I was before. I am ready to approach my friends on campus and be confident in the fact that it’s okay not to be okay. Being honest will not only allow yourself to feel better, but it will inspire the people around you to share how they are feeling. Speak out and inspire someone!
P.S. Don’t forget to go out and discover just how amazing Mcdonald's crispy chicken tenders are!