5 Unexpected Changes That Happen In The Limbo Between High School And College

5 Unexpected Changes That Happen In The Limbo Between High School And College

Our lives are changing in weird ways we weren't expecting.


I've been looking forward to college pretty much from the day I started high school. I've finally graduated, but college doesn't start for another two months, and currently, I, like many other soon-to-be freshmen, am stuck in the limbo between high school and college.

Here are some of the bizarre changes and feelings I've been experiencing:

1. Friendships.

From about the 4th grade on, I had been in the same school district with roughly the same group of kids. Even if I didn't speak to some of them, I knew who they all were. And being in advanced classes, my classmates usually ranged from about 50 students out of the 400 in my graduating class.

My point is I've seen a lot of these people nearly every day for the past eight years and now we're all splitting up in different, crazy directions. My former classmates are spreading out all over and it's a weird feeling acknowledging that I will never see some of these people ever again. On the other hand, I'm trying to spend as much time as I can with the friends I have because I know it's going to be hard splitting from them when fall comes.

2. Relationships.

Many of us were involved in relationships throughout high school, and the thought of college can really throw the relationship right off-track. I just recently split from my long-term boyfriend, partially because I'm moving away to go to Western. Unfortunately, this seems to be a relatively common thing that occurs in the summer limbo.

3. The Living Situation.

As of right now, I don't know what my future dorm room looks like or even what room it's in! Housing assignments don't come out for freshmen until August, and while the prospect of moving out is super exciting, it's also terrifying! I've never actually lived away from my parents and I can't help but be worried about being out there on my own.

Then again, I guess it's really "on my own," because I'm going to have roommates! But still, it's hard to look at my current bedroom and think about how I'm going to have a completely different room in just a few months. In addition to the thoughts about the room itself, I'm trying to buy furniture and decorations for it which has been proving a little difficult since I don't know quite what I need yet. I'm sure I'll figure it out later, but for now, I have a small stack of "dorm room things" sitting in my bedroom.

4. Gifts.

This topic isn't as much of a college change rather than an adulthood change. This past year I noticed that the gifts I received from my family had a drastic change in their purpose. When I was younger, the presents were mainly about giving me entertainment of some kind. But now, the gifts I'm receiving have a much more practical outlook.

For my birthday, almost all of my presents from my mother were geared towards college, namely my dorm room. I received a shower caddy, a pair of shower shoes, and a power strip, to name a few. While I'll miss receiving the more "fun" items, I do have to say that I appreciate her getting me gifts that I'll get practical use out of.

5. Expectations.

Honestly, the weirdest feeling I'm experiencing is being unsure of what to expect. Throughout all of high school, I always sort of knew what the next year would hold for me, especially with the strict graduation requirements and lack of variety in classes. But there are so many different classes available at Western and just trying to casually look through them can feel overwhelming. My older friends have told me about their college experience, but I still don't know what exactly to expect. I feel like I'm going in a little blind. But even with all the weird feelings I'm experiencing right now, I'm overall for excited for the future.

Cover Image Credit:

Nicole Blondin

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An Open Letter To Professors Who Assign Group Work

In the classroom, there is NO strength in numbers.


There is something to be said about the workings of a well-oiled machine. The swift cohesion of pieces working together to create a masterful finished product. Each individual part bringing its own unique gifts and interesting character together to create an impeccable arrangement of academic collaboration. It is absolutely awe-inspiring that professors dream of this sort of outcome from the random chunk of students that they forced together. So sorry to break it to you, professors, but the group project you assign in your class is not going to work like this. The final product will not be a meticulously crafted work of art. It is going to turn into a flaming disaster as your bitter students shamefully share the work they have thrown together.

Group projects are the bane of my, and most students', existence. You assign them in large lecture halls, small discussion courses, and every class in between. Most of the time you assemble the members of each group yourself, creating the saddest excuse for a team to ever grace the planet. This leaves the students no choice as to who they will be working with, which essentially makes the grade out of the individual's hand because they have no power over which random stranger will be tossed into their group. In the rare occasion that you do not assign the groups yourself, you leave the fear-stricken students to frantically gather their own clusters of people. This is just as bad because in this case students typically choose groups based on geographical location in the classroom, their seats that they chose on the first day of class and never got around to relocating.

Regardless of how they were gathered, every group project will introduce your students to a dynamic range of personalities. There is the one super intense leader that thinks this project grade is the single most important moment of their entire life, and if everyone does not commit their full selves to it they will actually burn the school to the ground. Conversely, there is the lazy, weak link; who is consistently dropping the ball on the group's shared research document and honestly none of the other group members even know what this person looks like because they skip class so ridiculously much. There is the one person who works every second of every day and can never fit your group meeting into their schedule because their nannying job is so important (this is actually a subtweet at me, my apologies to all of my past group members, I just have a really busy schedule, okay). Please, do not subject your students' grades to depend on the work of these insane classmates. A student's grade should reflect their own, individual work, group projects skew and make that impossible.

I understand that you mean well by assigning these projects. You hope to teach us how to work well with others, a valuable communicative asset in the real world. However, in the real world, there are standards for hiring at a company and if a worker does not perform well they will be fired. There are no standards for getting into my psychology class, any student with a laptop and a break in their schedule on Tuesday and Thursday mornings is welcome to join the class. There are no standards for performance either. If a student does not perform well in a group project their grade will plummet, which to my surprise does not greatly bother as many students as I thought, as does every other member of the group's grade. So unfair, so unparallel to the real world. Stop comparing your English 101 class to the real world.

Please professors, just stop with the group projects. I will happily write all of the papers, study all of the lectures, and even read all of the chapters in my textbook. Just don't make me create another Google Slides presentation with a bunch of strangers again.

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