The Truth About Being a First-Year

       When we came to DePauw, all of us either had many expectations or no expectations at all. We all wanted it to be a place where there was fun parties and cool people. We really didn’t know about how hard or rough the academic experience would be. We just wanted to love DePauw. There are students who see the university as their home for the next four years while there are some students who think of transferring to another school. Three months have passed and some can say they found their friends for the years to come and there are others that feel that they don’t belong because they have not found a solid friend group. Those who have found their friends seem to just go with the flow while these students who are unsure about DePauw find themselves depressed, lost, and impatient.

         Having non-stop homework along with a lack of a solid friend group can be tough because everyone around you seems to have gotten everything together. You may blame yourself and ask, “What did I do wrong?” You may feel alone without anyone to confide in. You may loathe going to your dorm and following the same routine day after day. You may be ready to give up. You are probably looking at other schools to apply to. You may have a roommate that’s never there or never talks to you. You may hate going to parties because you have no one to go with. You may be having anxiety attacks along with so much homework that you can’t think to yourself or branch out to make new friends. You may think that these moments define the rest of your college path but the truth is, they don’t.

         Here’s some helpful tips: Remember that good grades bring fruitful opportunities such as internships and jobs after college. Consider joining a fraternity or sorority because it is in these organizations that friends become family. Try talking to your mentor or professor about your academic and social problems because you aren’t the first to experience what you are going through. If you need to, see a counselor. It can be relieving and encouraging. Talk to other students. You may be shocked to find out that they feel the same way. Perhaps you can comfort each other.

        It is also during this time that you must inhale and let go of your feelings because they leave you miserable during the process. Instead you should focus on the spirit and what God is trying to tell you. Don’t give up. For their is a blessing in every storm and God has not brought you this far to leave you. Talk to Him because He knows what you are going through. He will give you strength in your weakness. Ephesians 1:18 says, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling.” Ask God to reveal to you what He is trying to tell you so that the eyes of your heart can be enlightened. The more you see, the more you can understand and face. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.” Ask God what His plan and purpose is for your journey at DePauw and in life overall. Be thinking and reflecting about how you are growing as person spiritually and mentally throughout this time.

         Finally, all of our troubles are essentially tests of faith. God puts obstacles in our way so that we draw closer to Him. The more we draw closer to God, the more we realize that His grace is sufficient for us. Without out His grace, we’d stay in our dorms all day. But because of His love for us, we know that our problems are temporary and we are able to rise again to conquer the next day. Don’t quit. Trust God and keep pushing through.

Author: Kayla Sullivan

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