Don’t be afraid of making big changes
May 24, 2019
When I came to campus as a freshman, I was confident I would major in biochemistry. I would learn to live with my randomly assigned roommate at ISR, and the group of friends I made those first few weeks would be my friends for the next four years.
A part of the way through first semester, though, I realized how unhappy I was. My chemistry classes didn’t excite me, my roommate stressed me out and I didn’t feel like I could talk with any of my friends. Part of me assumed it was something I needed to tough out and adjust to because it would get better.
Around November, though, I decided to take a shot and change the things upsetting me. I switched my major to English. I put in a room-change request and moved to PAR. I met the people on my new floor and made friends with them. Everything was different, and my life was better for it.
Sometimes when people start college, they have an idea in their head of what the next four years will look like. They know what they want to study, and they assume they are now locked into that field. I know when I changed majors, I felt guilty. I thought I had failed as a biochemistry major and was just taking the easy way out by switching to English. You might feel the same way, thinking it’s just something you have to power through.
In reality, your four years here at the University will be much more fulfilling and meaningful if you study something you love.
People often also have two misconceptions about roommates. First, you and your roommate will be best friends and do everything together. Second, if you don’t like your roommate, it’s necessary to just tough it out because it’s just a part of life learning how to deal with people you don’t like.
Consider both of these myths debunked: You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, and you don’t have to stick around if you’re having problems. Sometimes, going random or even finding a roommate on Facebook can end up really well, and you do find a friend for life. Other times, it’s just not a perfect fit. Your habits are incomparable, or your interests don’t match up. In that case, you can settle on just being roommates and getting through the year together. However, you don’t have to feel trapped into staying with someone if the room becomes a stressful place to be.
If your roommate makes you not want to ever be in your room, consider changing dorms. You should be comfortable in the place you’re living.
Part of that comfort also will come from the friends you surround yourself with. One of the most stressful parts of coming to college can be making friends. You can do this lots of ways: participating in RSOs, introducing yourself in class, joining Greek life and more. But if you find the people you started being friends with first semester aren’t who you thought they were, don’t be afraid to meet new people. On a campus this big, you’ll manage to find at least one group of friends who you’ll love just as much as your friends back home.
College is time for a lot of changes in your life. Don’t be afraid when something isn’t working out like you hoped. You are always able to switch it up as you go along and figure out what’s right for you.