College is scary, especially in the beginning. So many movies, novels, and television shows depict college as a wonderful world of sex, drugs, and partying with a small portion of your time dedicated to school work. And, for some, that is the image of college they've always dreamed of. For me, that was not the case.
All the expectations I had upon arriving at college were shattered the first week. Friends and parties don't happen immediately like they would lead you to believe. They take time and effort, something I hadn't expected would be as difficult to achieve, but when used properly, the best relationships can be born. I came to college to achieve certain goals. I wanted to make life long friendships, build my self-confidence, and become a better person for not just myself, but also the community around me.
I believe I have been making good progress towards achieving the goals I set for myself. College is meant to force us out of our comfort zone and it did just that. Having no one to rely on but myself forced me to venture out and make friends with people that I feel like I've known for a lifetime. When it comes to the confidence I have in myself, I feel strongly that the friendships I have made help me with this. If you have the right group around you, they can build you up. I have been active in a lot of clubs and have made advances to be in a position of authority in organizations at Longwood.
Having standards and expectations is unavoidable; the media's effect on our perceptions are hard to escape. Despite these expectations, it is important to be flexible. College is not the same for everyone; everyone's experiences are different and that is okay, but each individual is different. Forcing myself to go beyond the expectations I set for myself gave me so many memories with people that I will never forget, and I am forever grateful for the courage and flexibility that allowed me to become the person I am today.