College Life Experiences: Personal Narrative Essay

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“This is just a journey, drop your worries, you are gonna turn out fine” - Andy Grammar. I truly feel like college is full of fun and great opportunities, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t physical and mental hurdles that obstruct the path to your future. To me, the most notable responsibility of being a college student is being able to balance hardships and leisure time.

One major personal struggle that I have experienced, as well as witnessed around campus was relationship breakups. A lot of couples coming into their freshman year were attempting to partake in a long-distance relationship, hoping that it would last throughout their time in college, but most of these relationships only lasted about a month. I on the other hand ended things with a girl that I had a relationship with because she didn’t want to date in college. The worst part about us ending things was that we never dated with an official title, due to this reason, a rather apparent question continuously repeats in my head; “What if it worked out”? I personally would’ve rather ended ties with someone knowing we weren’t meant for each other, rather than end the relationship for no reason. Everyone experiences a break up from time to time, but this one hit me really harder than I expected, due to the fact that it was my first relationship. Based on that factor, for the longest time in a while, I felt ridden with an unshakable sense of sadness weighing down my heart. For the longest time, I thought to myself every single day, hoping that she would text me that we had made a mistake. In the end, I learned that if you truly love someone, you have to learn to let them go, and if they love you back they will come back to you.

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In addition to struggling with relationships, I remember having a mental breakdown because I wasn’t happy with not being able to accommodate myself to college life just yet. For instance, I would wake up with the sole goal of going to class and going home to do my homework. During that time, I called my mom for the first time and she caught on that something was wrong. When I first called her, I told her that adapting to this new school was hard, making friends were hard, and overall I just didn't feel happy. Surprisingly enough, my mom was actually glad that I had told her because that was the first time I’d actually opened up to her. Talking about personal struggles wasn’t necessarily an easy nor a common thing to talk about with my parents one on one, but at that moment, it was an exception. I knew that I wasn’t afraid to ask for help, so I told her everything, and my mom actually gave me great advice.

The first step that I took to lessen my sense of isolation in college was meeting fellow hallmates to make some friends, but most people don’t normally want to just stop there, they try to make more friends from other social outings, whether that is joining a fraternity/sorority or student organizations that heavily involve socializing amongst members. My first two weeks at James Madison University were notably difficult since I didn’t really feel like I was making actual permanent friends, but more like acquaintances; people that I knew around school but not people I would actually talk to. The reason for this was based on time itself. While trying to focus more on my academics, I didn’t really put in any time for socializing.

With that reason in mind, I felt that I wasn’t managing my time efficiently, so I decided to join a fraternity. Joining a Fraternity was probably one of the best choices that I had made because it gave me the chance to make a lot of new friends that I wasn’t able to meet around campus. What I mean is that meeting people around campus did get me to meet new people, but not people that had the same mentality as I did prior to joining the fraternity. Therefore, the fraternity presented a more definite variety of people to get to know, some of that I can soon call my close brothers. Brothers that I know will stand by me with any aid to my problems throughout my time in college.

The Fraternity that I am pledging to has mandatory study sessions, and mandatory workout sessions. Their thoroughly processed times really helped me with being able to plan and efficiently organize my time with academics and my social life. In addition to that, it really helped me not stay locked up in my room all day after finishing my classes.

As time passed I felt a lot happier, but I did start to get a lot of homework. Homework in college hasn’t been challenging as I thought it was going to be, but it is how you prepare yourself for class. I started to read a week before my classes because I was taught that it helps me pay attention in class as well as better retention. Reading before my class helped me to better comprehend what my teacher was saying during lectures. I remember teaching myself calculus, and when I went to class it helped a lot with my exams. Overall, tending to myself mentally really made me more comfortable with college life.

College is a great experience with many ups and downs, but from my experience how to pass through the downs is by learning from your mistakes. When you are struggling you feel as if you are going in circles, but you have to conquer your mind. You can let your emotions overwhelm you, or you can create positive emotions that lead to positive actions. This is the story of how I overcame my physical and mental hurdles so far in my college life. As Lauv says in one of his songs, “Sad Forever”, “I’m callin' through to the other side ~ I’ll make it through tomorrow”.

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College Life Experiences: Personal Narrative Essay. (2023, July 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from
“College Life Experiences: Personal Narrative Essay.” Edubirdie, 20 Jul. 2023,
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