This being roughly half way through my first semester of college I feel as if I have some insight to what all the hype is about. For the most part I’ve tried to participate in as much as possible; I pledged a sorority, purchased my student season football tickets (because SEC), made 3 different other organizations, and I am juggling 15 credits of classes. I’ve not only already experienced the exciting parts of college, but I’ve also started to realize the intimidating aspects.
Starting with the ugly: freshman fifteen is no joke. Now of course I haven’t gained fifteen pounds, but I now understand why gaining weight is constantly on college student’s minds (or should be). We are, I kid you not, provided with an unlimited array of buffet style food. On top of the buffet options we have a food court with fast food options. If the food court just isn’t doing it for you then head on over to the sorority house for dinner, but be sure and stop by the nine frozen yogurt/ice cream shops on the way. I realize that we, the students, had all of these options back at home, but the difference is the accessibility. In high school you would ask your parents for some cash here and there, or you had a crappy minimum wage job (which amounted to the same results as you not even having a job), or your parents paid for everything. I mean, my parents still pay for everything, but the charge goes on a plastic card that bills your student account and we don’t even realize the amount we are spending; nor do we care. Now to get rid of all that extra weight requires exercise. So after all of your classes, homework, community service, and other extra meetings you’re required to attend try and gather enough energy to work out for an hour. In the miniscule amount of time I’ve been here I’ve barely conjured the energy to try and get a good GPA much less try and work on getting a Brazilian butt.
The Bad: Missing home. I was one of those kids who couldn’t wait to get away from my hometown. I chose a college ten hours away from home, and that has really put things into perspective. I’ve started to realize all of the little things I miss. Mexican food. God, do I miss Mexican food. Breakfast tacos, fajitas, and queso. It’s just not the same out here. Just because your restaurant has “el,” “mi,” or “taco” in it does not mean it’s a Mexican restaurant. I miss my family. I think being away from them is what has hit me hardest. I crave the feeling of comfortableness, the certain smell of my house, not paying for laundry *preach*, and so much more. Every time I’m FaceTiming, calling, or even texting someone from my family I want to cry. I miss being able to tell my mom about things/people and she knew whom I was talking about. I miss my friends and the sense of having people who know you inside and out. I miss inside jokes, girl’s nights out, and just being my true weird self.
The Good: Of course being ten hours away from everything I grew up with is hard, but I’ve also given myself a chance to create entire new friendships, discover new culture (Texas really isn’t Southern), and find new meaning. In the few weeks that I’ve been in Mississippi it’s been really hard to try and open up and meet new people. For the longest it felt as if no one was interested in being my friend because the girls still had their high school groups here. Even though I was a part of group messages, parties, and activities it still just didn’t feel like I fit in. So where’s the good part in this? For my sorority we received a Bid Day Buddy (an active who hangs out with you on bid day). One thing she said that really stuck with me was, “You’re not the only girl feeling this way.” After that I tried to include myself more, talk to people even when I was afraid, and just be myself and trust that friends will come. I have an amazing opportunity within my sorority to meet so many new girls and create lifelong friendships. It’s the hope and aspect of the bonds I’ll have that keeps me going. Every day I meet new girls that are so amazing, kind, talented, and who I would want to get to know more. The more organizations I become a part of only further the friendships and connections. The good part of college is finding people and being able to find myself within that journey. I’ve grown close to several girls that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
I know that it has only been a short amount of time and every student here is feeling a little of what I am. I’ve realized college is scary, and growing up is scary, but it’s more than that; it’s amazing. I’ve always tried to live by the quote, “Want it more than you fear it.” I want best friendships, memories, and laughter more than how afraid I am to approach a girl or try and reach out. Hopefully within this semester everything will work out and I can trust that life falls into place. But what is the most amazing aspect of college? The university that I chose to attend. Not only are the people amazing, the atmosphere is welcoming, the tea is sweeter, the drawls longer, but also our football team is now #1 in the nation. It’s not just the fact that our team is 6-0, but the support behind it. When our hands blister, we still ring our cowbells. When we are being drenched in rain and it’s not even half time, we don’t leave the stadium. When the game is over and we’re exhausted, we ring our cowbells all the way to the alma mater. I chose a college that cares about tradition, our school spirit, and each other, and I wouldn’t change my decision for any other school in the world. That to me is worth everything.