Everyone who is in college has heard the term “The College Experience” at one point or another. In a stereotypical sense, that experience involves the type of partying and mingling one would see in movies or television shows that has been ingrained in students since high school. Every student strives to have that ideal college experience, but in reality, the typical “college experience” is fictitious, completely made up to attract young adults. Personally, I have heard many definitions of what the college experience should be, especially when it was my turn to choose where I would be spending the next few years. Many factors played into the decision of where I would go to school, and what I would do during those years, but there was always those lingering thoughts from others in the back of my mind asking me if I was making the right decisions. Yet, as time goes on, I have come to learn that my college experience is what I want it to be, not what someone else envisions it to be for me.
To truly “experience” college, I don’t have to go to parties, I don’t have to be single, I don’t have to have a fear of missing out if I graduate a year ahead of my friends. I love my small school where I can just hang out with friends rather than party. I am more than happy with the person I am in a relationship with. And although I wish I could graduate with my friends, I am proud of myself for accomplishing something not many students do.
College is supposed to be the place where you learn about yourself, make mistakes, and power through moments of weakness. As a student and person, you are supposed to reach out of your comfort zone, expand your horizons, and hopefully figure out what interests you. Revel in your successes and be proud of them, whether academically or socially. I am sure that some of the most valuable lessons I will learn in life will come from my years here in college, and I hope that I carry them with me throughout my career and life. The weakest moments and the moments that require you to push yourself are the moments that will make college memorable. If there is one piece of advice I can provide to new college students, it is this: College is what you make it. Have fun, make mistakes, experience new things, but never let anyone tell you what your college experience should be.