If you would have told freshman year me that I would have made it to my senior year of college, I never would have believed you.
Rewind to 2018.
Curled up in bed, I lay crying unsure of my academic fate. Isolation haunted me in the early months of my first college experience when I didn’t have the friendships that I had hoped to build during those months.
Two weeks after graduating high school, I started a summer semester at the University of Central Florida. Going there, I thought I was going to have the time of my life. My sister went there and thrived. I went there and well, I’m at Cabrini now, so what does that tell you?
Meeting people that I clicked with was really hard. I met a lot of people but whether they were from Florida or not, they already had friends they knew at the school and no one wanted to expand their friend group. It confused me because I thought that’s what college is all about.
I spent my days walking to classes, doing homework in the library, squeezing in a movie to cheer me up but ultimately crying myself to sleep every night because of how alone and friendless I felt.
I had to complete my fall semester there before I could transfer to Cabrini. I tried joining a sorority to make me want to stay but found out that some girls are the sweetest and want what’s best for you and others were nasty, like the ones you see on TV and in movies that can’t stand newcomers. I had three great roommates. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough for me to stay.
When I transferred to Cabrini, making friends was much easier. Even though, I did miss the first semester of freshman year and the ‘getting to know you’ period. I was surprised at how open people were to want to get to know me because I didn’t experience that in Florida. I’m not trying to trash talk UCF; I loved my professors and I passed with flying colors but the whole experience taught me how valuable friendship is.
Even though I found my college where I thrive, my first two semesters of school put a really bad taste in my mouth of what college could be like. I hate how this was the beginning of my college experience. I always wanted it to be perfect as the movies. It’s not always as perfect as in movies and I’ve accepted it.
I’ve been very work-oriented since I began college since that’s what I spent most of my time doing in the beginning and I still do it now. But I am so ready to not write papers anymore and read discussion posts where college students are still making the most basic grammar errors.
According to Mental Health America and Forbes, all of the responsibilities that come after college can feel very overwhelming, like paying bills. I am actually excited to be on my own and to have things I can call my own, like a house and I’m actually excited to pay bills because I will feel like an adult! Money might be tight at times, but I believe that since I will be surrounded and supported by people that I love every step of the way, it will work out in the end.
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to attend college and further my education. But it’s definitely time for me to go. I am so ready to walk across a stage (hopefully COVID-19 protocols allow it in May) and get my diploma for all the hard work it’s taken to get to this point. Education Data reports that 165,630 college students graduate annually in Pennsylvania. I cannot wait to join that number.