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The 8 Biggest Pressures of Being a Freshman

Priya is pursuing her undergrad in law and business administration. She loves translated books, world cinema and French chic.

There is this burning desire that you need to prove yourself.

There is this burning desire that you need to prove yourself.

I am sorry to break it to you, but college might not be as charming as you thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s plenty bit exciting, but at the same time, there is this daunting pressure on you to carve out your image among the scores of many. I have seen batch mates break down, and have broken down myself a couple of times, but I get back up again, because after all, what choice did I have? With that rather depressing thought, I will share the eight biggest forms of pressure a freshman goes through in the first few months.

1. Pressure to Perform

I will start off with the most general kind of pressure that every freshman has; the pressure to perform. This vague, uneasy feeling sort of builds up even before you reach campus. There is this burning desire that you need to prove yourself. Once you reach college, it’s an entirely different story altogether. You see these amazing seniors—all well-spoken and fancy. You've gone from being the best in your school to being an average low-key person.

2. Pressure to Make Friends

You’ll notice that the first time you enter the gates of your campus that everyone is nice. And then you have an insane pressure to find the people to hang out with, or to put it simply, the right people to befriend. You make friends within days, and then you realize that you don’t quite fit in, but at the same time, you don’t want to look like a loser by being alone. You try to find people with characteristics subsuming the older set of friends you had in high school. But it doesn’t work out that way, does it? Ultimately, you learn to adjust. Or sometimes, you’re lucky to have found the right friends at the very start. Rare case, but it happens.

Answering in class is a thing.

Answering in class is a thing.

3. Pressure to Answer in Class

Trust me, it’s a thing. A friend of mine broke down once because she wanted to answer in class, knowing that she knew the answer, but being afraid of voicing her thoughts in the bid that she might look stupid. It’s a terrible feeling, I gather. It’s even worse if you have some smart nuts in your class answering with subject jargon, which makes you feel even more insecure. But rest is assured, this feeling only lasts max for a month.

4. Pressure to Be in a Committee

There’s this desire, once you’re in college, to belong. And that belongingness comes more easily if you belong to a committee. Or so you think. So you run around like a dog from interviews to interviews, testing this out and trying that out, and sometimes you make it, and sometimes you don’t. And when you don’t, you have this intense gut feeling of being talentless and redundant and useless.

5. Pressure to Sound Smart

That’s obvious, isn’t it? You are all into making a good image of yourself, and the pressure’s there to sound all posh and smart and eloquent. Just so you know, this too lasts for a month or so because everyone just becomes tired of putting up a show. The people I initially thought were smart turned out to be very normal people with their own insecurities and struggles.

You see your talented batch-mate getting the chance to showcase theirs and all you feel is that deadening grip enveloping you.

You see your talented batch-mate getting the chance to showcase theirs and all you feel is that deadening grip enveloping you.

6. Pressure to Show Your Talents

You know you’re good at something and you want everyone to associate you with that. It might be that you’re a good dancer or footballer, or something very vague, like sewing for instance. Trying to find an outlet to show your talents can be very taxing. You see your talented batch-mate getting the chance to showcase theirs and all you feel is that deadening grip enveloping you. But the good news is that you’re only a freshman, meaning you’ll be here for the next three, in my case, five years.

7. Pressure to Build Up Relations With Your Seniors

If your college works like mine, you’ll know the importance of seniors. You’ll be handed down notes, tips, and more tips. And the only way around it is to build up relations with them. It should be easy, right? Unfortunately, when it becomes a necessity, the pressure also builds up. I have seen people going around bootlicking seniors just to have some scraps thrown their way. It’s too silly and amusing at the same time.

8. Pressure to Prove Academic Prowess

You are in college because of your grades, aren’t you? But the rest of the people in the class are also there because of their grades. So there is intense pressure on you to perform academically well; to live up to the expectations of yourself to an imaginable height that you float them on. You end up spending night after night in the library, reading up books and scrolling through slides, and still experiencing this inadequacy. And since you’re right outta school where you used to score 30 on 30, college grades are a nosedive from your usual expectation.

This might seem a very depressing post, but don’t take it too seriously. I only write fun stuff; seriousness is just not me—so take it lightly. Keep tuned because I have more posts on college life.

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© 2017 Priya Barua


Priya Barua (author) on November 06, 2017:

Thanks Nisarg...glad you found it relatable. We are all in the same boat anyway.

Nisarg Khatri on November 06, 2017:

You write so relatable stuff, ma'am. I want your autograph ;)

Priya Barua (author) on October 08, 2017:

Thanks Alexis. I am still in my first sem in Law school, and honestly, if I can describe the past four months in one word, I would use, emotionally tumultuous. (Technically it's two words)

Alexis on October 08, 2017:

For all its trials, it's truly a fantastic experience. I kind of mulled around and just did assignments the first semester of my freshman year. I didn't make any friends or join any clubs, but I made straight A's and was pretty active in class. During my second semester, I joined my first club and met my to this day best friend! College can be overwhelming and it can take time to find a niche, but once you do, you're golden.

Priya Barua (author) on October 07, 2017:

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Ankush!

Ankush Mukherjee from Kolkata on October 07, 2017:

True facts, well written madam!!

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