This Too Shall Pass: Learning To Embrace The Lulls

The end of October is an interesting time of year for freshmen. You’ve officially been here at Boston College for about two months now, and you still have about a month to go until Thanksgiving Break. This time last year, I counted down the days until I could go home. I wanted nothing but to be in my own bed, eat my mom’s home-cooked food, and see my friends—friends that I had known for years and whom I knew I could rely on.

The pressure of midterms came down on me harder than I’d felt for any test I’d taken in high school. I still felt like I hadn’t made any strong friendships or found a friend group, and I had no idea what I wanted to major in (much less any clue about what I wanted to do with my life). I felt as if I couldn’t stand it here any longer. I just wanted to be home and feel comfortable again. I didn’t quite feel comfortable yet at Boston College, and I envied the many other students who seemed to be having the times of their lives.

I shouldn’t be feeling this way, I thought, two months into the academic year. After all, I was busy during the days. I had people to sit with at meals, and I was keeping good relationships with my friends from home.

The point of my story, however, is not just my experience from last year—my point is that I thought I was the only one feeling this way.

As the months went on and I became closer to my friends here at BC, we realized something: we had all felt the exact same way at some point during first semester, but were too afraid to tell each other.

For many, having a turbulent first month is expected. The transition into college is difficult, and you most likely expected that. When that turbulence spills over into the second, third, or even fourth month of your time here at BC, however, you may begin to wonder, “Why am I still feeling like this?”

You may look at the people around you and think that there’s no way they could be feeling the same way. You may even look at your own life and wonder how you could be feeling this way, too.

I promise you that it is completely normal, if not common, to have a bit of a lull during the mid to late months of first semester. The excitement of the first month has died down a bit, the difficulty of classes has increased exponentially, and you have probably settled into a weekly routine that pales in comparison to the exciting unpredictability of the first few weeks of college.

Many people, especially incoming freshmen (myself included), expect college to be 100 percent fun, 100 percent of the time. But college is just another four years in your life. There will be ups and there will be downs. Sure, the first set of downs may come as a bit of a shock, but life isn’t life without a balance of positive and negative experiences. And college is simply a part of life: embrace the lull and try to use it as an opportunity to get to know yourself and others.

You may be feeling overwhelmed, you may be feeling like you haven’t met anyone you’ve truly clicked with yet, and you may be wondering if you’ve made the right decision in coming to BC. I’ll give you the advice I wish someone had given me: nothing is wrong with you, and there is nothing you could have done to avoid this. Life is like this sometimes. It won’t happen overnight, but things will get better.

I know how you’re feeling. I’ve been there, and even as a sophomore I still face lulls here and there. I try as hard as I can to let it run its course, however, because I know that even during a time in my life as exciting and memorable as college, there will be times where I don’t feel like things are going perfectly. This was a difficult thing to learn, but it shaped me into who I am now, just one year later.

October is challenging, it really is. But hang in there, and know that many of us have been there, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out to whomever you feel closest to here at BC, because chances are they have been in a similar place as you. Being able to talk openly and honestly with someone who might be experiencing the same thing will help you understand that you are not alone, and that “this too shall pass.”

Featured Image by Francisco Ruela / Heights Graphics