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I know that other threads similar to this one exist in this forum, and I apologize for my lack of originality, but I don't know what else to do. I just want someone to listen and make me feel better, because quite frankly, I am a little bit miserable at school so far.
I am a freshman at a small university in the northeast. This school was my first choice, and I visited twice during my senior year. I was convinced that this particular school was an ideal fit for me, and I was incredibly excited to begin college. Although my school is located approximately 1500 miles away from the town in which I was born and grew up, I didn't think the distance would be an issue at all. I am also extremely shy/introverted, but I didn't expect that my ability to make friends would be hindered in any way.
College, however, has not turned out to be as idyllic as I had hoped. Things just don't feel right, and I'm not sure exactly why. Some of the contributing factors include:
1. I really miss my family. My mother, who is a single parent, is one of my best friends. My senior year was a pretty difficult year for us, and I remember thinking how wonderful it would be when I was far away from her at college. However, now that I actually _am_ far away, I miss her very much, and regret being so lame and unappreciative last year. I also miss the standard "being away from home" things: sleeping in my own bed, not sharing a bathroom with 25 other people, seeing my cat.
2. I feel conspicuously poor. As I mentioned, my mother is a single parent, and I grew up with very little money (her average yearly income is approximately $15,000). The school which I attend is...affluent, to put it mildly, and I was only able to attend thanks to generous grants and federal aid. I feel as though my mannerisms betray my poverty, despite my best attempts to blend in. Thus, I feel uncomfortable and anxious all the time. Last weekend was Parents' Weekend, and of course, my mother couldn't afford to fly here. It just makes me so sad because I know that she would have given pretty much anything to attend. I didn't even want her to buy me anything or take me out to eat; I just wanted her to come and see my school and be proud of me.
3. I am really, really introverted, and extremely reticent. Somehow, I ended up on a floor of people with whom I have little to nothing in common -- they are all loud, conservative, and like to go "clubbing" or to get drunk at the frats. During the first week or so, I didn't think that this would matter too much -- I assumed that there were friends to be made in classes or activities. Unfortunately, this hasn't proven to be true. It seems that most people make friends with their hallmates, so it's extremely difficult to assimilate into an already established group, especially since I find it nearly impossible to start conversations or even make consistent eye contact. So, in addition to being homesick, I am terribly lonely. I often go days without speaking to anyone at all, and this, of course, only serves to make me miss my home and family more intensely. I eat every meal alone, and spend a lot of time outside of class in the library, just so that I don't have to feel so strange and lonely. I should probably note here that I didn't have a huge group of friends in high school, but at least I had people to talk to and eat my meals with.
4. I have tried to join activities, but they seem to be populated by people who don't really want me around. The one activity in which I really wanted to participate requires me to miss too much class to be feasible.
5. I am the very first member of my family to go to college, so I feel like I'm somehow letting everyone down by complaining and still being sad after six weeks of class.
There are some positive aspects, as well. I really enjoy all of my classes, and I'm doing well in them so far.
On the whole, though, I am pretty miserable here. I feel isolated and lonely, sort of like I'm an explorer from another planet who doesn't speak the language or understand any of the customs of the native people. It would really help if just one person would talk to me or eat with me. Lately, I've found that small things (not being able to solve a question from my homework, feeling put on the spot in class) upset me more than they should. I cry much more easily than I used to. There's nothing specific for me to be sad about, and I think that that makes the whole situation worse: I can't find a way to justify the way that I feel to myself.
Thanks for reading.