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When I was in high school, I hated my life.
High school was just not my stage, and I was desperate to move away from a dead end town and go to university. I was a stupid teenager, and on the night of my high school graduation, I deleted almost all of my Facebook friends. If they were from high school, they got deleted - except for a select few. I wanted to start over.
I was looking forward to university because it was bound to be my fresh start. I was feeling my depression a lot during this time, though I hadn't completely come to terms with it yet. Everyone was telling me that it was normal to be sad and feel like this when you're in high school, so I expected it to completely fade away once I reached university.
And it did! For a little while, at least. I made it through the first few weeks of school incident free, loving my new freedom and all of the people I was meeting. My classes were fun, campus was easy to get around, and all of the people on my residence floor were pretty darn cool. I was loving my new lease on life.
I felt like I belonged somewhere. It all made sense, and I figured this is the place where lost people go to find themselves. I was so happy I had made the decision to continue my schooling, so that I could have this awesome experience! But like depression always does, it came creeping back.
It started with insecurity. I've always had problems with learning to love myself, and now at this new place, I felt extremely insecure because I wasn't around people that I really knew. It was brand new territory, and my school had loads of pretty girls and boys that I felt I didn't fit in with.
I felt an extreme loneliness, something that must come with growing up and leaving home for the first time. I counted down the days until my first reading week in the fall, wishing just to be home and anywhere but my residence room.
With these feelings circling my mind, as well as the never-ending sadness, I started to become agitated with my friends. I would get into squabbles with one of my closest and first friends I made at university, mainly over things that I should have just brushed off. I was extremely sensitive and I felt like everything was an attack to me. I didn't really want to be around anyone, and I began to close myself off from everyone, as I had just done that summer.
I decided to take advantage of all the resources that were at my fingertips. My residence building had free counselling downstairs, so off I went. I was at a really bad stage in this depression, starting to feel suicidal again like I had in high school. This counselling really helped me to get through my first year and figure out what I was doing in this foreign place.
So what was I expecting? I thought I would walk in there and suddenly glow up and become a gorgeous supermodel. I thought that I would make more friends than I could keep up with. I thought that I would have boys begging to be with me.
Maybe that's a bit of a stretch.
But I did expect that university would make me feel happy. And it did, like all new things do at first, but that faded away into the feelings I was having before. So I walked in there and I was still the same me. I made a bunch of friends. I went on a lot of dates and met some really fun people.
My first year of university showed me what I was capable of and I grew a new pair of wings. It was hard, but I survived it. My advice to anyone going off to school:
- You're going to struggle, but these struggles will truly make you into a better person.
- You will find your confidence eventually. It takes everybody a while to get started on the right foot.
- Friends are more important than lovers.
- You will probably bond most with the people that are in your classes, as you're interested in the same things, so make sure that you actually go to those classes!
- Studying together is a great group activity.
In the long run, I was reborn, though it wasn't all peaches and cream. Hang in there, kid.