From the moment I entered first grade till graduating from high school, I’d continuously dreamed about college and how a radical new me would be born, how independence and freedom from parental control would bring me a new identity.
And now I’m here.
What a strange new feeling this is.
In some ways, college is exactly what I expected and yet each day also brings me new surprises. Living with a roommate can be difficult sometimes, but I’ve also come to enjoy the companionship and having someone to always watch out for you. Servery food is meh. Classes are definitely harder than high school. Feelings of loneliness and yet having the most fun I’ve had all my life. Having the ability to control what I did with my time was perhaps the greatest change of all because it’s hard to differentiate work from play from study when everything all happens in one place. Instead of simply going home, having dinner, studying, showering, and then going to bed, my sense of time has been completely thrown off from having midterms at night to random events happening during the afternoon and friends over in my room at strange times. It’s hard to block out a time to study and I’ve finally come to realize that yes, as boring and cliche as it may seem, the library is the perfect place be productive and concentrate. Something about seeing everyone else around me study and the somber atmosphere just induces me to do the same instead of checking my phone and social media platforms every few seconds.
The social atmosphere at college is also immensely different from high school. I’ve never felt this happy and included in my life and meeting new people all the time still undeniably brings me an exciting rush. Trying new things and not having to fear judgement all the time is so strangely new to me. However, I will admit that as toxic and as competitive as high school was, I did have a group of close friends who I shared many rosy memories with whilst drowning in work and I miss the type of comfort I felt around them. Sometimes, I feel lonely here and I feel like the friendships formed are much more shallow, but that may change given there are still many years left. I also definitely have to make an effort to be friends with someone here and hangout with them since classes don’t force me to always be in close proximity with everyone like it did in high school.
Of course, I do miss my parents. In fact, I got so homesick the third week of school, I begged them to take me home. However, with time and establishment, I’ve settled into college a lot better and I don’t feel a necessity to go home all the time. Though their advice keeps me centered and nothing will match up to their cooking, my parents are frustrating to deal with sometimes and our relationship just works out so much better when I don’t see them every single day.
Lastly, college has made me deeply reflect on my sense of self. What type of person do I want to be and how do I present myself so that others will see me in that light? What classes do I need to reach my goals and what do I want to do with my life? When should I sleep? What should I eat? Which clubs do I join? What do I like to do in my free time? Boys?
Decision making is such an adult thing and well… I like it.
Next stop: internships and career plans? Chasing after my dreams?