No one tells you what to expect for college — except they do, or at least they try. Day, weeks, months before graduation you find yourself scrolling through different blogs and College Board checklists titled, “What to Expect From Campus Life,” and “What to Pack Before You Leave for College.” If you’re like me, you’re scrolling through Pinterest boards of Urban Outfitters bedding and different DIYs you can attempt to hang on your walls.
All of these things try to prepare us: our teachers, parents, or even those horribly mismanaged blog-websites that at some point, some of us tried convincing our teachers were reliable sources.
No one before college can truly prepare you for what’s ahead.
“That won’t be acceptable in college.”
“You can’t do that in college.”
Bullshit. You can, or you won’t.
It’s up to you.
A lot of people walk on eggshells and don’t tell you that mom or dad are staying home today and you’re going to have to hold your own hand and haul that ass to class or the library or to get those 500 pages of reading done before 8 a.m. tomorrow. I’m not trying to scare you, even though most of it still scares me. I still refuse to go to the dining commons by myself.
But never once have I regretted coming to college — mostly because of how much fun it is.
Between the late nights of homework, or even on those same exact nights, you’re surrounded by great things and great people. You’re watching weird movies with friends, talking about rock climbing with your favorite professor, or laying in the middle of the lacrosse field looking at the stars and listening to Hozier’s album on constant repeat. But, some bad nights tend to find their way in between those good ones. There have been nights where my roommate has walked in on me sobbing in my bed, cradling a unicorn pillow and sobbing that I’m not meant for college — that I’m not cut out for this and that I should’ve taken that year off that plenty of others recommended to me. But then I think about how much I would have missed if I really didn’t come to Eastern: the friends, the memories, and the growing I’ve done.
Don’t be put off from college because it reflects life — good, bad, great, horrifying — sometimes tomorrow is better, and sometimes it isn’t. That’s up to you. College gives you the chance to get through those good and bad days and find yourself through the process. Find yourself without others telling you how.
As people, we never stop growing. Physically, mentally, emotionally — we grow and adapt and change more and more into who we are and who we are meant to be. I have learned so much about myself since I first got to Eastern. I truly realized how bad of a procrastinator I am, that a business major isn’t for me, and that I aspire to live a life like Bill from the Dining Commons.
But there’s so much more that this new environment offers you: a chance to start over or renew.
You’re a brand new person. You can start over, although I do not recommend it. Stay true to yourself. Take advantage of the seeds those who have gone before you have planted within and let them grow, no matter the soil they’re in. Continue to find yourself in this new place you’re about to enter, and never stop growing. Explore things that interest you. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there or try new things — you’ll never know if a new interest finds you. Surround yourself with good people that you feel comfortable around and allow you to grow.
So, my advice to you, class of 2017, is to go find yourself.