Going away to college, we experience a lot of mixed feelings from—from being scared to being excited. At the beginning, it takes a while to adjust, but once you get used to it everything tends to fall into place. For most young adults college is the time to gain a sense of independence and get the freedom that you’ve been dying for since the beginning of your senior year of high school. College most definitely comes with wild nights and the most excitement that you’ve had, but there’s way more to college than what most people see on television. College is full of lessons that are learned outside of the classroom.
Here’s five lessons I’ve learned from going away for college.
1. The friends you have your freshman year will not always be there senior year.
My freshman year of college I met a great group of people that I ended up becoming close with. We were all different, yet we all had so much in common. I remember we’d all get together and talk about what we would be like once we all became seniors. I really thought I would have the same group of friends throughout college, but little did I know some of my friends would transfer out, leave because they couldn’t afford it, and just stop hanging out because we grew apart and became friends with other people. It was sad for me because all the friends I made my freshman year all left after each semester, so I though I was bad luck. It prevented me from trying to make any new friends for a while and I went into a mild depression because I had a real connection with these people. Eventually, I realized that it’s a part of life.
2. You appreciate your mom’s home cooked meals more
Oh, college food! When you first get to college you get excited because the food seems so good and you get to choose whatever food you like. But then after a while the food becomes nasty and repetitive, which will make you want to order take out, which spirals into poor eating habits. So going home for the holidays and the summer was exciting because you know that your mom will cook your favorite meals and her cooking is healthier than the food served in the dining hall.
3. Self Discipline
This is one of the most important lessons that I learned in school and I learned it after a setback. My first semester of college was fun I was able to go out and enjoy the freedom I had away from my mother, but I got to carried away to the point where my grades were slipping. My first semester grades were not my best and I was extremely upset. The next semester came and I was able to dust myself off and try again with a little more self-discipline. I still went out and had fun, but I made sure I got my work done before and my last 3 and a half years “work hard, play later” was my motto.
4. Becoming Open-Minded
I can honestly say that before I went to college there were a lot of issues that I did not care about because I was pretty selfish and if it didn’t happened to me then I don’t care. Becoming close with people from different minority groups, a lot of my views started to change and I started researching to become more educated on different topics. Learning new things at college helped me become more sensitive to different issues and it made me a better person.
5. There’s no place like home
There’s really no place on earth like home. Home for me is New York City, I was born and raised in the city so everything about me exudes “city girl.” I went to college in Florida, a small town in Florida to be exact. Before leaving the city, all I kept telling myself was, “I can’t wait to leave NYC…I hate NYC, it’s too cold…There’s nothing for me here in the city I think it’s best to leave.” Little did I know that I would miss NYC so much after leaving. Since I went to school in a small town I experienced extreme culture shock. Everything closed early and if you didn’t have a car, you were stuck. I don’t have a license and everything is 24 hours in NYC so it was a huge transition for me. I never really appreciated NYC until I left and now I appreciate my city more than ever.
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