When I left for college last August I packed my entire life up into neat little boxes and loaded them into my car, ready for adventure. I expected my life to stay organized, fit into the boxes I’d put it in upon graduating high school. I thought my friends would stay my friends, my grades would stay high, and my likes and dislikes would stay in their separated Venn diagram circles.
Some things I needed to know about college:
College is clutter. It’s chaos. It’s “I haven’t done my laundry in three weeks or washed my hair in five days” kind of unorganized. College is all-nighters one week, turning around and sleeping until 2pm the next weekend, and then consistently waking up for an 8am class the next week.
My life didn’t stay in its boxes anymore.
The friends I counted on in high school I barely keep in touch with now. What felt like a catastrophic canyon forming in the middle of my life turned out to be okay. My closest friends, the ones that meant the most, came back to me in the end. And the ones that didn’t? Let’s just say that life has better plans for me. Better plans and better people. I expected to meet my forever soul mate or life long best friend my first week on campus, and was admittedly a little bummed when I didn’t even have one really close friend by the end of the first month. But I kept my mind open to all the new friends I did make. It’s no surprise to me now that the friend group I have is the tightest, strongest group of people I’ve surrounded myself with in a long time. They’re supportive, kind, and, you guessed it, I met them all in college.
As an AP student in high school, I knew how to time manage and handle tough classes…haha that’s funny, no, I really had no idea. I thought I knew how to time manage and handle tough classes. It’s a no brainer, but college is different; AP classes are a completely different style of writing from college papers, testing is mind-boggling, and time management goes out the window when you’re only taking four or five classes and don’t have parents to tell you what to do and when to do it. Not keeping my mind open to changing my lifestyle set me back further than anyone anticipated. Life throws curve balls, and college (or living on your own in general) teaches you how to handle them.
Drop a class, change your major, transfer schools, study abroad – do something that makes your school experience worth it for yourself. Withdrawing from General Chemistry 101 doesn’t mean you can never be a doctor or will fail to get into med school (something it took me a long time to figure out for myself). Take your time, find a better path, work through it. School teaches you what a problem is and what possible solutions are, life teaches you how to handle the darn thing.