Writer: Maggie Holmes
“Five Reasons Why You Should Go to College”
I would not call myself a pessimist by any means, so writing this article is a little strange for me. Maybe I’m a little angry that college hasn’t been all it’s cracked up to be, or maybe I’m a little annoyed that everything I saw on social media from kids that graduated high school a year before I did is not at all what college is like. I’m going to be honest, but I’m also going to be fair; hence, the solutions to all of the problems presented. So, kids, here are a few things to prepare for when you go to college.
1. No Friends
This one’s a bit of a given, unless you’ve chosen to go school with people you know already. Everyone talks about how nerve racking making friends is when you leave home; but, let me tell you the extent in which this is true. It doesn’t matter what you join; frat, sorority, whatever. Making real friends takes time. Every incoming freshman should know that the level of intimacy you had with your friends back home is not going to come easy. It’s hard to dig past the superficial layer that most people put up when “making friends.” There is nothing more discouraging than meeting hundreds of people without really feeling like you’ve met anyone.
The fix? Time. It does fix all wounds after all. If you feel that you’ve found a new best friend during your first week of college, you’re either one of the luckiest kids alive or you’ve just made a fake friend that you probably will rarely speak to a month later. Don’t settle when it comes to finding your new group of friends. You’ll regret it later. Do not lose sight of what you love in a friend just because your options are limited and often rushed.
2. Young, Dumb, and Very Very Broke
Ah, yes, the joy of being the stereotypical, broke, college kid. When you hear about it in movies, it almost sounds fun! It’s funny at first (being broke that is), but then that day comes when that last dollar from the stockpile you saved up during the summer working that awful job is whisked away for a t-shirt from sexy Billy’s sick frat. Now, if your parents are feeding you a sum of money every month or so, beware! You aren’t safe either. The chances are you still have no idea how to budget your money, and that one-hundred dollars you had for the month is going to be gone after one trip to target.
The fix? Unless you are suddenly super chill about selling your plasma to a blood donation clinic, you’re going to need a job. If possible, look for one on campus. They are much more flexible than outside jobs and most of the time they’re so chill you can actually study while you’re working.
3. Identity Crisis
I just want to start by saying that my issues with my identity are pre-existing (I went from aspiring to be an astronaut to majoring in Pre-Nursing in about three seconds), so maybe I’m a little biased when I say that it’s nothing to be scared of. Whether it’s because you failed that first big test, got a little grossed out in a Biology lab when you’re a pre-med major, or just plain hate every class you’re in; it’s okay. Most students will change their major at least three times before graduation, and no matter how hard your schools drills you with that four-year graduation plan, sometimes you’re going to need an extra semester or two.
The fix? Give in to the crisis! If you feel that what you’re doing just is not for you, it’s fine! Walk straight into that career services office and change your path. When it comes to deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life, it is never a good idea to suppress a gut feeling. Think like an Olympian and go for the gold.
In conclusion, if you want to triumph over the many battles that is your freshman year of college, you are going to need to be prepared to lose more than you’ll win. The lows will be low, but the highs will be higher than anything you’ve ever experienced (a little haha moment all you dirty hippies out there); because, there’s nothing like acing your first test after failing the first two, and there’s nothing like making friends that you’ll know and love for the rest of your life after having to drop a few disappointments along the way. I hope this was helpful if you’re applying for colleges now, or relatable if you’re already in the midst of your first year. In the end, if you aren’t terrified; then, you probably are not taking it seriously enough, and you should try a little harder before you’re forced to drop out.