Failed Expectations

‘College is great. I am having the best time of my life. It’s so much better than high school.’ I think I said that every single time I interacted with someone when I went home. They would ask me how I was doing and if I was enjoying myself at school, and I would give the incredibly stereotypical answers, the ones I had been hearing since I was a freshman in high school. Except one time instead of giving the typical answer, I said, “I love it, but I don’t know if I am having as much fun as everyone expects me to be having.”

I kind of felt like I said the unacceptable, but I also felt relieved that I wasn’t lying to someone anymore. Don’t get me wrong I love college, and I love Alabama so much, but I felt like I was missing something sometimes throughout the semester. All my friends seemed to be having such an amazing college experience, and I felt like what I was doing wasn’t enough to be having fun. I felt like I should be going out more or like I should have more friends or like I should be more involved already. My expectations for college hadn’t really been met.

The first person I expressed this concern with was my former AP Bio teacher when I went to go visit her. She told me she understood my concerns, which was a relief. She also reminded me that it was probably going to get better. Your first semester can be a little weird because you’re trying to find your footing in a big place, or in my case a really big place. The first couple of months were especially rough for me, but it got better as time went on. Naturally you would think in this next semester, everything will continue to get better. 

I also talked about this with Tori when we went to lunch one day, and she reminded me that I’m not seeing every aspect of someone’s life. I mean, there’s a ton of fun stuff I don’t post on Instagram mostly because I am super weird about what my feed looks like. So if I am not posting every fun moment I am having, people are obviously not posting their bad moments. This reminded me of a post Shannon wrote a couple years ago, which I cannot believe I remember, but she was right. It’s easy to get caught up into what “appears” to be the perfect life, but who wants to post all the bad moments? I sure don’t. 

I think there are a lot of expectations of what the perfect college experience is supposed to be like between movies, TV shows, and the edited life of the people who we know, and I think we easily forget that the “perfect” experience is different for everyone. For me, I don’t like going out all that much, but for other people, they do like going out. For me, I loved going to all the football games, but for others, that’s not their style. There’s a lot of pressure to love college and do it in a way that seems normal, but there is no normal way to do college. The only way to do college is to do it your way.

xx, jKm

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