AHH!!! It’s finally here! The time you’ve been anticipating for at least four years, the time most adults in your life said was their best one, the time where the 2.0 version of you can take the stage: college!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent the summer knocking items off your bucket list and drowning in excitement. With welcome week just mere days away though, you’ve probably noticed that amidst all that excitement, there’s a small (or not so small) amount of nerves.

You don’t even have to be an introvert to be daunted by the friend-making frenzy that is welcome week. I was downright scared, but now I know for a fact that I didn’t have to be. I know, I know, that’s easy for me to say now, when I’ve already lived through it, but I can honestly tell you that, even after making all the “mistakes” in the world, everything turned out fine and I still love USC.

Leading up to freshman year, everyone I talked to told me that I absolutely had to step out of my comfort zone, try new things, and keep an open mind. Wanting to make my welcome week a success, I made an honest effort at doing all those things. In some ways, it worked brilliantly: I went to a sports game and actually enjoyed it, I auditioned for an a Capella group and made it on the team.

In other ways, though, I failed comically. I went to the Splash Bash with my floor mates and immediately felt super awkward. We’d shown up kind of late, it was incredibly crowded, and it kind of felt like everyone knew each other already. I was with one of my floor mates, Anika, and we’d lost track of everyone else we’d come with. If I’d been diligently following everyone’s advice, I would’ve probably swallowed past the awkwardness and jumped right into meeting new people, but I’d been diligent all day. So instead, Anika and I looked at each other, laughed, and left the Splash Bash to hang out with the other people still in our dorm. Now, Anika is one of five other girls I’m going to be living with in the Village and she’s most certainly one of my best-friends.

I also showed up a little late to convocation and couldn’t find my friends, but after a few moments of wandering around lost, I sat with complete strangers who—surprise—became my friends by the end of the ceremony.

My point is, no matter how much you do your best to stay out of your comfort zone, sometimes you just can’t help but get back in it, and that’s okay. No matter how many blunders you make, it’ll turn out okay. So take a deep breath, and jump into college with the determination to follow all the great advice you’ve heard. But if you need to take a break, or you find that things just aren’t flowing in the right direction, pause for a second and hopefully you’ll see that’s there an opportunity right there to turn the situation around!

[author title=”Author” author_id=””] href="#" data-color-override="false" data-hover-color-override="false" data-hover-text-color-override="#fff">Button Text