Going to college right after high school was one of the most exciting yet nerve-racking experiences of my life. The thought of finally leaving my high school, where there was less than 70 students in my graduating class, to attend a campus with over 10,000 students enrolled, was enough to make my head spin.
When the first day of my freshman year came, all the excitement I had was replaced with extreme nervousness. Did I put on deodorant today? Oh no! What if I’m that one smelly person in class? Does my hair look okay? What if I say something stupid and end up being known as an idiot? What if I get lost? What if..what if people actually try to talk to me? Needless to say, the anxiety was real.
Even though I had enough anxiety to bring an end to the world, the earth continued to rotate. I met some pretty cool people, took some classes that really changed how I saw some things, and learned so much about myself, and that is what, I believe, college is about; learning about yourself, or rather, creating yourself.
Yes, you attend college to get your degree to work the job that you desire. But along the way, your desires may change. This is the time in our lives where everyone is on different levels. It can be a bit intimidating when you compare yourself to the people around you. You also have to realize that not everyone is going to move at the same pace as you.
What I mean, is that when you look around, other people may seem like they have everything together. I know that I would look at some of my friends and the people I had classes with and see that some of them were crazy talented and passionate about something and wish that I could be like them. Or I’d think about how so many of them are engaged or starting families. In a way, I guess you could say that I felt like I was lagging behind on my way through life. However, as cliche as it sounds, I came to realize that you have to step back and smell the roses.
In my opinion, life is more about creating yourself versus discovering yourself. You want to find out what you’re passionate about? You want to get really good at a certain skill? Explore and experiment! You’ll come to learn to enjoy so much by simply immersing yourself in whatever it is that interest you.
You may think, “That takes time and effort,” and you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking so. But the truth is, life takes time and effort. The time is going to pass anyway; it’s how you use it that counts. So what if you’re not on the same level as everyone else? This is your life, you move at your own pace.
The best place to explore and experiment is right here on campus. Get involved. Take that class. Join that club. Don’t try to rush through school and not take the time to really enjoy it. There are so many opportunities you could miss in doing so. This is the best time to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.