Don’t Worry, Awkwardness Is Normal

Students chat near Madonna della Strada at Loyola University Chicago's Lake Shore Campus Saturday, June 28, 2014. (Photo by Heather Eidson.)

When packing for college, distress flares are the first things that come to mind.

However, in the first month of collegiate life, “SOS” calls made home become as regular as the rampant bunnies on campus.

Surprisingly, moving to a new area surrounded by new people while beginning a new curriculum can be jarring.

But before placing that potentially sob-riddled call or sending that anxious text, it’s important to recognize that the first few weeks of college will be a period of stumbles, blunders and unintentional word vomit.

In other words, all of this is completely normal.

More often than not, beginnings are awkward and college is definitely no exception.

Moving to an environment with new people and new responsibilities to attend to can be overwhelming for most.

As frightening and atypical as it may seem, all the feelings and mistakes that go along with it are OK.

It’s easy to buy into the unhealthy trope of college being a consistently life-changing experience. Students have been told by friends, family and pop culture that every moment of the “best four years of your life” is funny, memorable, smooth and exciting.

The reality is equally fun but not always flawless. Instances where everything instantly clicks and feels right are rare.

It’s why it’s important to treasure those moments.

But when those high expectations become the norm, it’s easy to feel that you’re not living up to a normal standard of collegiate life.

Getting lost on campus is a definite possibility. Joining several clubs- and dropping out of them- is more than likely.

Having weird conversations and uncomfortable silences with strangers is inevitable. But none of these situations mean you are failing to experience college the right way.

A normal college experience is not instantaneously perfect.

So relax; you’re going to do just fine.

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