College. Just this one word can send both fear and excitement into the hearts of nervous teenagers everywhere. For many, college is really that big push into adulthood and finding yourself. You’re on your own and have to make decisions and find friends and do homework and sort laundry and remember to brush your teeth and wash your dishes and the list goes on and on. Terrifying, right? I’m about to be a Freshman in college and I feel completely unprepared for what’s coming… I mean, I’ve never even had a job and I still have absolutely no idea how to go about ironing or steam cleaning an article of clothing or whatever it is you do. How am I going to survive when I have to go to my first job interview and my only nice pair of pants is all wrinkled because I accidentally left them in the dryer too long while I was binge watching America’s Next Top Model?! These are the questions that haunt me…
If college seems like this terrifying, confusing place filled with the unknown, why is it that our parents and practically every other adult who graduated from college looks back on it with such fondness? I mean, every time I start to talk to my parents about my new class schedule or the books I have to buy, they always just end up saying stuff like, “Those four years at college were some of my favorites!” and, “College was such an adventure! I know you’re going to have so much fun!”
Fun? FUN? Fun is not something I tend to think of when I think of college… I know lots of kids just think of drinking or partying when they think of college, but that has never been my scene. So, no, when I think of college I don’t think of “fun” or “adventure” or anything like that. I think of papers and homework, mean professors and three hour long classes, early mornings and gross cafeteria food (and that’s without even including my celiac and gluten free sadness). Not exactly my definition of “fun.”
But obviously these adults must know at least a little about what they are talking about. It’s not like they are trying to tell me about the new Apple Watch or something… This is a part of there life. This is a topic they have lived and breathed. So it would probably be a good idea to listen to them, right?
That thought is what finally brought me to the realization that I need to start looking at this experience in a whole new light. I shouldn’t be viewing my first day of freshman year as my first step into Mordor or something, I should be looking at it as my first step into the crafting of my future. This is the time when I get to decide who I become and where I go. This is my chance to turn my life around, leave my past in the past and act like the person I want to be. Yes, there are going to be some scary moments and bumps in the road where I question just what the heck I’ve gotten myself into and why in the world can’t I just go running home to my parents to give up. But you know what, those are the moments where I get to grow and push through and become a strong woman. No more relying on others to help me keep my life on the right track. It’s up to me, myself, and I. And that just might be the most terrifying thing of all.
So, college… Yes the word still strikes a small amount of fear into my heart, but it also lights a little spark of excitement. I’m determined to make these next four years the adventure of a lifetime, and I hope you’ll join me as I embark on this journey.
Wish me luck!