When you’re a kid in elementary school, everyone glorifies middle school. Then you get there, and you realize oh, this isn’t actually all everyone said it would be. It’s not bad, it’s just not the food fights and hallway drama you were told it would be. Once everyone realizes this, they start to glorify high school, and then you get there and it’s the same thing all over again. In my experience, college has turned out to be no different. All my life I was told I would make the most amazing friends here, make amazing memories, and finally find out who I was meant to be. Maybe it’s a little premature to say all the expectations I had will not be met, but my freshman year has definitely not gone how I expected it to be.

For one, I thought my roommate and I would get along great, and if not great then at least enough to tolerate each other’s presence somewhat. That didn’t turn out so well. My first roommate and I had major issues, and in my opinion she really did not respect me at all, and so I had to get a transfer before either one of us said or did something we would regret. I’m not ashamed to admit I have a short temper; when I get angry, I say things that I shouldn’t. My old roommate told me she used to get into fights. I don’t know if she meant physical fights or just verbal altercations, but I didn’t want to risk it being the former over the latter, so I got—read: fought for three months—a transfer in order to remove myself from what was a toxic situation for the both of us. My second roommate isn’t exactly any better, but at this point in the semester I’ve decided to just make my peace with not being comfortable in my own room. At least there’s only two months left until I can go home, right?

Aside from being total BFFs with my roommate, my only hope for my freshman year—aside from passing all my classes, which I’m fortunately doing okay with so far—was to make really great friends. I knew it was possible; literally by day three of orientation week I heard the girls down my hall having sleepovers and movie nights and the like, and they’re all still super close today, in March, months later. And I wanted my freshman year of college to be better than my freshman year of high school. I didn’t actually make any friends until senior year, which was really bad timing because now I’m in Virginia for most of the next four years and they’re all back home in Florida. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually make any friends until around February, and I’m not nearly as close to them as I am to friends back home. Which is understandable considering I only really started hanging out with most of these people last month, but I still expected more of myself.

I’m not trying to sound super depressing and down, but we got back from spring break and it seemed to have the opposite effect on me than what it had to everyone else. I didn’t even go anywhere fun; I went to Roanoke to sleep on the couch of the older sister of one of my friends from middle school (who I don’t even talk to anymore, ironically) and dogsit for them while they went to work. I can count on one hand the amount of times I left their apartment for a reason unrelated to walking their dog. While all the girls in my dorm came back on March 10 sunkissed and smiling, I came back as pasty as ever and just a tad bit more moody because we don’t have any more breaks until summer.

College comes with a lot of expectations, but unfortunately they don’t become reality on their own. I take full responsibility over how disappointing this first year turned out, but at the same time I can’t help but think, did I make the right decision? All my friends from home went to the same community college thirty minutes down the road from our high school, and they’re all happy and still hanging out together and, for the most part, enjoying their lives. Meanwhile I’m fourteen hours away, homesick and longing for a single day where the thermostat hits sixty and stays there all day. Sometimes I think that maybe I should have stayed in Florida. It would have been much cheaper, that much I know. But at the end of the day I made my decision, and I’ve decided to stick with it.

So, while I wait for the sun to come out and stay out, I’m gonna hit the books harder than ever before and hope that it makes the time fly by faster. At this point, all I want is to let the sun bring out the cheery side of me again. Let’s see how that goes.