College life comes with many things. There are roommates, parties, exams and a multitude of young people. When you see the same people every day growing up, it often becomes difficult to imagine another life. The majority of your memories take place in a shared space with the same cast of characters, creating the same experience. Then, college comes along, rips all the little pieces apart, and distributes them across the country. To the weak of heart it may sound violent, and to the realists mundane. Nevertheless, all the little high school seniors go off to represent their districts in the college games. Only then does Dorothy realize, no she's not in Kansas anymore. In fact, college campus people watching is a world-view-changing experience. Apparently, not all high schools are created equal and no one is prepared for freedom.
Yes, freedom. College provides freedom from busy work, freedom of choice and freedom from adult supervision. (Although technically we college students are adults now, so I guess there really is no escaping it. It's just self-supervision.)
There seem to be a few common ways to handle newfound freedom. The steady-state student continues living their life much like they did in high school, maybe they get some new friends or a new hobby, but their level of activity remains the same. Then there are the look-at-mes. Whether the are finding themselves, or just really miss the attention from home I don't know. I do know, they play their music loud. They still have the sense of humor of a three-year-old. Yelling does not make it funny. It does not make the steady-states like the look-at-mes. Yet, it continues. Finally, we have the go-crazies. These people can be found at every party. Boundaries? Nah. They love their freedom, and the exercise it to the fullest.
The college conglomeration also teaches each other about the education system where they came from. Apparently, we're not all learning the same stuff, and we're not learning in the same way. The oxford comma? That's a debate amongst the greater educational realm. No one starts the semester on the same playing field. Some people never really learned a foreign language, some don't know any history past the Civil War.
College life teaches that there really is no standard college prep. The strange combination of people and backgrounds makes for an enlightening experience. We're all different, there's no way around that. There is a way to enjoy it. So, I'll keep people watching.