By Hope Racine
As most freshmen do, I had a rocky start to college. Everyone has the awkward transitional phase and has a hard time finding friends. For me, it seemed impossible to find my niche. I wasn't a partier, and as a freshman I had no idea how to find non-drinking activities to fill my time on campus. I was a misfit, and spent the majority of my first year alone in my dorm room. Had I not joined my acapella group, I don't think I would have ever made friends.
I didn't like the people, I hated the academics, and everything in the school bothered me. Through those months, the only thing I could think about was the fact that I had chosen this. And not just out of disparity -- I had turned down two dream schools for "practical" reasons, and I felt like I was being punished for choosing an option that was less expensive and closer to home.
My sophomore year, things opened up. Things changed. I still hit roadblocks at my school, but each year I spend here I learn to see the silver linings. I found the little things about my school that I love. And one lesson was reinforced, time after time: life is what you make it.
1. Join clubs and activities until one sticks.
You're here to get an education, not to make friends. But college is a pretty crappy experience without people to share it with. Most of us don't start school knowing exactly where we're going to fit in. Join clubs, get involved -- if you hate it, quit. But it will get you out on campus and involved, and you'll probably make friends out of it.
2. Don't have your dream major? Make it.
Not all schools have this option, but the "create-your-own" major is becoming more and more popular. I created my journalism major, and it was difficult and at times I hate my life, but I know that I'm working towards something I love. With enough work (and annoying enough professors) you can really make your major work for you.
3. Don't hide from your school.
If you hate the campus and the school and the people, chances are you're going to go home any chance you get, and hole up in your room the rest of the time. Don't do this! This just builds up antagonism towards everything. You will never learn to like where you are in life if you spend every moment railing against it. Go out. Get involved. Even if you're sitting on a bench and judging people, it's still a better use of time than sitting around on Tumblr.
My school still isn't perfect. It still isn't my "dream school." But I've made my school work for me. But I had to come to that realization. People telling me to suck it up or transfer weren't helpful. When you hate your school, it can become toxic. Every single moment there makes you miserable. But you need to get out of that rut, one way at a time.
Originally posted in Literally, Darling's College section
Literally, Darling is an online magazine by and for twenty-something women, which features the personal, provocative, awkward, pop-filled and pressing issues of our gender and generation. This is an exact representation of our exaggerated selves.