*As you read this article, feel free to listen to this.*

It has been said that when you make the transition from high school to college, everything changes. You change as a person, you might change in how you look or act.... This time period of changes is thought to happen during the first year of school and possibly the summer before this year. I can tell you that it can happen during any year of school. I know that during my first year of school, I was half high school girl and half college girl. It was like I was almost pretending to be a college student and doing what I thought college students did.

I thought it was cool to stay up late on a weekday when I had an early class the next day and to be able to relate to others who did their homework the day right before it was due. I thought that I had to always be doing something fun or cool, and if I wasn't, then I was missing out on opportunities.

I can tell you now that all of these things are false. Even though I still stay up late sometimes, I know that I am going to pay for it the next day. If I don't do my homework days before it's due, then I am only hurting myself and preventing myself from success. And it's okay to not do anything, in fact it's wonderful to not do anything sometimes.

When I look into the mirror now, I almost don't recognize the person looking back at me. When I think about the things that I have done and am able to do now, it's crazy to think that it's me. It's crazy to think that I really did take a chance and jump into the wind. I have seen people around me change as well. They're not changing into something bad or into something they shouldn't, but into exactly who they should be. I don't know if I feel any wiser than last year or any smarter. But I know that I have changed.

When you are thrown into your second year, you have to deal with potentially living on your own, in your own space, with someone you may have only known for about a year. You are thrown into more difficult classes as you dive deeper into your major. You are thrown into realizing how you deal with stress and anger and defeat and happiness.

This second year has been the most influential year of my life so far. During the past year, I have dealt with all of these things. I have had to change the way that I deal with things and who I tell those things to. I have become more trusting in myself and others.

The first year of school will probably show you all the things that will go wrong, but that's not the only time you'll go through that. As you continue with your schooling, you will be literally thrown into the middle of ocean and be told to swim to the other side with one paddle and a droopy raft. You will be pushed to the edge and have to come back stronger than you've ever been. You will gain so much wisdom that you can use for your second year. An important thing to remember is that, just because it applies to your first year of school, doesn't mean that it applies to the rest of them.

It's crazy to me, that in just a few months I will be a junior in college. I can remember graduating high school and being so terrified for college and not knowing what to expect. I imagined that college was going to be like it is in the movies. Where there are constantly things happening and people are friends with everyone and everyone hangs out all the time. Pieces of this are true. There always things happening, good and bad. The myth that everyone is friends with everyone is a lie. I can't count how many times I have been walking to class on campus and not one person has spoken to me.

During your years at school, you will go through many changes in your character and personality. One of my good friends once said that "Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won't have a title until much later." I can honestly say that last year and this past semester, I never would have thought I would be where I am now. As you prepare for your first year of school or continue and wonder when things will change, they will. All you have to believe is that everything changes in the end and that all changes are good.