The jump to college is a big one. I thought I knew this floating through my senior year of high school, just waiting for the day I’d be walking the stage in my cap and gown, preparing for what I knew would be a huge change in my life. And to no one’s surprise but my own, it was WAY weirder than I suspected.
I was that big talker who said they were getting out of where they grew up and went to high school. At least four hours away, I’d say to my mom, because I wanted a change. I want new people and new experiences in a different place. Well, here I am, at Nazareth College, exactly 12.6 miles from my high school and 13.1 miles from my house. But it’s still new people and a different place.
As the big act of actually deciding on a school and having the reality of leaving behind my comfort zone of walking two feet to my bathroom, having my own room, and home-cooked meals started to creep upon me, I still found the con in how close I was to home. But, as orientation weekend commenced, and then as my first month came to a close, I realized how unusual and strange and any other adjective you could think of, college was. Anyone on campus— or on any campus really— reading this now doesn’t need me telling them how freshman year is. My advice is to simply make sure you are prepared for something that I underestimated.
What I’ve found from my first month, is that college is great. You don’t have to wake up for 7 hours of school everyday, there’s freedom from your parents, and you make really awesome friendships; these people which you see everyday, makes it like a huge sleepover at a summer camp where you only go home for breaks like Thanksgiving.
It’s exciting to ‘can’t wait’ for that! But college, to my knowledge so far, is all of that— along with this: sharing a space with maybe someone you don’t know after maybe not ever sharing a room before, and eating junk food cause it’s just so easy.
It’s learning that you can swear in a classroom and call your professors by their first names and having to make your own appointments and start learning how to be on your own. And it doesn’t come easy; there’s breakdowns and frustration and finding the perseverance to keep going.
I write this as an informative wake up call that you either do or don’t need. As scary as it seems, you’re in the same boat with a thousand others, and this has already brought me closer friendships than all my years at high school. My first semester hasn’t come to a close, but the only way to go is up. Here’s to the next four years into my future, and soon to be yours, too.