But instead, I said — “Everything is great. I love college.”
I didn’t want to tell my parents. I was the one who had decided to move 1,656 miles from the suburbs of Denver, Colo., to Chapel Hill.
I didn't want to tell my friends. Seeing their photos flood my social media feed only reaffirmed my feeling — I was the only one who was struggling with the transition.
I wasn’t. After the first year of college came to a close, people started to open up, saying things like: “My first year was not that great,” and “I feel so lost.”
This was news to me. It had seemed like they had been having the time of their lives — and I, too, had made people think that I was having the time of my life. We are great at deceiving others and making it look like we are OK.
I thought back to the classmates that I had sat next to every day during lectures. I started to remember the faces that I had passed by at parties and the people that I had cheered alongside at the football games. I passed by them every day, but I didn’t really see them.
I had been so absorbed with myself — how I was doing, how I felt and what I was going through. If I had looked up, I may have realized that some of them had been feeling the exact same way. They, too, were hurting. Their souls ached. Like me, they yearned for something more — for deep friendships, for meaning and for purpose.
So often, we run away from discomfort and want nothing to do with it. We search for the easy fix. We want to experience the mountain peaks of life, but not the valleys. But, I look back at that semester with fondness because the story did not end there.
Seasons come, and seasons go.
Whether you experienced a valley your first year or sophomore year — or you are experiencing it at this very moment — hold on. It’s going to be OK.
This season, like all of the others, will pass.