Before I came to college, I heard rumors that made me scared to leave home, regardless of the fact that I was moving only about 30 miles north. Recently, I was asked if I felt any different having almost completed my first year of college, and it really made me think, “Well, yes. I don’t know how anyone could not change.” Since August, I think I have changed, maybe not drastically, but in a way that I have noticed.
College is a whole different world than high schooll. Maybe you know a lot of people and maybe you know no one. Regardless, you are forced out of your comfort zone, and, for me, it started with soccer. I joined my school’s soccer team, and instantly became nervous because I had to move in with someone during preseason, whom I had never met nor talked to. However, this lovely character became my best friend, and the next two months before school started were some of the best I have enjoyed up until this point. What I realized in that time was that no one here knew who I was or what I had been through or what leaving home was like for me, and it was refreshing. Not that I wanted to recreate myself, but I could just do whatever I wanted to. However, I learned very fast that “adulting” was a real thing.
By “adulting,” I mean doing things on my own that I had never really done before. There was no longer a school schedule where, during break, I would eat a snack and at lunch time I would have lunch. I created my own schedule and did what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. Naps were scheduled religiously, and, if you are anything like me, which I hope you are not, you haven’t done laundry either until college. The phone calls made to my mom about what I was supposed to use and even do occurred almost everyday. I also learned that there was no one reminding me of events or daily to-dos, and, because of that, planners are your friends.
So, to answer the question regarding if I feel any different, my answer is,”Absolutely.” I think that I have matured in a way that I wasn’t able to do as a high school student. I have learned the importance of a dryer sheet, that time management is a thing, and procrastination is not my friend. Being in college means that you are constantly surrounded by people, but you have to do a lot on your own. Your success and happiness are truly up to you. In a cliche way, I truly think that, even in my first year, college is truly forcing me to figure out who I am and what I want to do. Most importantly, college has taught me that there is no “cool” crew or popular kids, but that it is just you and your friends who are friends with other people, and those people are friends with other people. You can truly be who you are.