There I am, alone in a small cinder-block room. It is humid and clammy inside. The walls are a gross yellow-white shade, like the classrooms in high school. Every couple of hours I hear the screams from my neighbors because they have found yet another cockroach. I sit on the small, uncomfortable mattress as I cry my eyes out. I just said goodbye to my family, and would not see them for a very long time- I had just been dropped off at college, and my journey had just begun.
Throughout middle school and high-school, the word “college” is something that I heard very often. It is something held above students heads. “You better take AP classes so you can get into college,” and, “If you don’t spend seven hours a week studying for the SAT you won’t get a high enough score for colleges,” are some familiar things that I heard throughout high school. College is used as motivation, and something for hard-working high- school students to look forward to. Everyone where I am from attends a four-year university, and my high school has a 99% rate for sending kids to college. The pressure was on.
When I chose to attend the University of Delaware, it was one of the most exciting days of my life. When I stepped onto the campus, I felt different then I had felt when touring other schools. The people were super nice, the campus is beautiful, and the downtown area is very nice. I felt as though it was the perfect fit. However, once I had to start looking for a roommate, I began to get nervous and anxious. I asked myself, “Would I be able to find someone I liked? What if they were weird? What if they steal my things? What if they had boys over all the time?” My thoughts would get worse and worse everyday. I ended up choosing a roommate that looked normal over Facebook, and hoped for the best.
Besides being nervous about my roomate, college gave me more things to be scared of. I felt like I would not be smart enough to keep up my grades, and was very scared of falling behind. In high school, I always felt like the “dumb friend”. My two closest friends are attending University of Chicago and Columbia this year, and being around them made me feel like I was not going to succeed in college. In addition, I was very worried about the college workload, and was unsure if I was cut out for this. Throughout highschool I was always able to keep up, but college is a different story. I always heard college kids complaining about the work, and it made me extremely stressed. Besides school work, I stressed about making new friends, and was not sure if I was ready to leave my old ones behind. It was hard to think about being friends with a whole new set of people.
The scariest part of this transition was leaving my family. My family always eats dinner together, we do activities together, and are very close-knit. My grand-parents and both my aunts all live within 15 minutes of my hometown. My younger sister and I are also really close, and I was really scared to leave my best friend.
Flash forward two weeks after move in day, and almost all of my anxieties of college had disappeared. Upon meeting my roommate Natalie, I was pleasantly surprised. Natalie had a lot of the same concerns that I had about going into college. We were more similar than I previously thought we were. For example, on move-in day I realized we both came from crazy families. We have had many conversations about our nutty childhoods, and all of the questionable things our parents put us through. Also, we had a humorous argument about who would kill the spiders in the room god forbid we had any. Nonetheless, we ended up getting along really well and shared many of the same interests. As far as the school work, so far it has been extremely manageable. Obviously it has only been two weeks and things are bound to get harder, but my fears about the school work have dissipated. (My fears of the cockroaches living in my building have not). Leaving my family was not as hard as I thought. We talk on the phone almost every day, and we scheduled visits home for the near future.
Although it was not the easiest decision to go to college, so far it has been completely worth it. An important lesson that I learned through this process is to not overthink things. I psyched myself out about little things, when I should have had self-confidence.