If you just graduated high school, then you’re probably in that awkward in-between stage before you head off to college.
Well, if this is the case, then you’ve probably recently felt every possible emotion you could muster–right? Take a deep breath. Laugh off the stress. Try not to throw up from spending all of your open house money on dorm room supplies. It will all be okay because you’re about to embark on the most exhilarating four years of your life thus far.
Here are reasons why college trumps high school and why you should take this new journey with a smile rather than a nervous sweat:
Nobody knows you.
This might sound nerve-wracking to some of you, but it is actually the most ideal situation for this new chapter of your life. Even if you’re going to a college close to your hometown, you will only see those old high school classmates in passing between classes or if you try to go out of your way to spark a high school reunion. Now is the opportunity for you to try new activities, go to different restaurants, embark on new adventures, and meet as many awesome people as you possibly can. College is all about making connections so make this a priority.
Nobody cares if you show up to class in your pajamas.
There have been multiple occasions in which I witnessed students walking into classrooms and lecture halls with not only their pajamas, but also their blankets. You might look strange to some people, but most people are sitting there saying, “You do you. I wish I were that comfy.”
And with that said, nobody cares if you dress nicely.
In high school, if you were to show up in heels, you could never just tell people you had a major presentation to give because how many of those major presentations did we actually have in high school? In college, if you say you have a major presentation, everyone comments on how nice you look. Even if you just want to dress nice, you can tell people this, and they’ll still tell you how awesome you look. Then, you can sing, “I woke up like this” in your head for the rest of the day and slay every meeting, presentation, paper, and exam.
You don’t have to answer to anyone.
Mom and Dad, I love you. Honestly, though, in college, it’s nice being able to come and go as you please. If you want to walk around the mall, then you can walk around the mall. If you want to stay at your best friend’s house until four in the morning, then you can stay at your best friend’s house until four in the morning. Nobody is stopping you from doing what you want. Everyone is simply trying to navigate the adult-ish world so they let you do your own thing.
You feel as though you’re learning worthwhile material.
Right now, the idea of hours of homework probably does not sound appealing; however, you’re going to college to study any field you desire. Once you finish your basic core classes, almost every class you take will be beneficial to your field. Can you imagine actually enjoying the copious amounts of reading material you will have every night? Well, imagine it now because you’ll be living it soon.
You can make somewhat bad decisions without the world falling apart.
Can you pull an all-nighter before a 9 a.m. test on a Wednesday morning? Sure. Go for it! Can you order pizza at 3 a.m. with your closest friends without feeling bad about it? Why not? Go for it! College is all about making decisions, and then you decide whether or not they were good decisions. Taylor Swift once said in her song New Romantics, “Honey, life is a classroom.” This is evident in every situation. You test out a theory, a decision, a fashion move, and then you figure out if you pass or fail. Except, here, the decision is yours.
It’s completely okay to try that new thing you’ve always wanted to try.
Have you thought about writing for a newspaper? Join the staff. Have you ever wanted to study abroad? Look into the different programs your school has to offer. Have you ever wanted to join the Quidditch team? Find a broomstick and go to the practices. Colleges have such an array of opportunities, and it’s completely normal if you join a club or group without having any prior experience. Most of the time, when you tell people you have no idea how to do the particular activity, everyone is super excited to teach you and show you the way. P.S. GO TO THE ACTIVITY FAIR. I cannot stress this enough. You’ll meet new people, exchange emails with the clubs you want to join, and get a better idea of what your university has to offer.
Hopefully, you’re excited for college. These next four years can either become the greatest four years of your life so far or they can be lonely. The choice is yours. You simply have to go out there and grasp every opportunity in your path.
Lauren is a Ball State University alumna with a Bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She enjoys breakfast for dinner with a side of literary enjoyment.