Over this past year I have been asked by some of my friends who are still in high school if college changes you (I am a sophomore in college). I never thought much of it and my dismissive answers until a concert I attended with my best friend. She brought up being asked the same question and how the person who asked it did not believe her when she answered "yes." We then discussed how college actually does change you. How we are both entirely different people than when we attended and even graduated high school. We discussed how we had the same perspective, that college does not change us, one. But, within a week of college we reversed are opinion.
The way I look at it is that when I was in high school I was unpopular. I was defensive, and extremely closed off due to the fact of enormous bullying. In college that all changed. I made friends who I didn't need to question if they were actually my friends. I became even more extroverted because of this and I began to trust again. People were always there for me in a way that even my closest friends from high school never were. I had one or two friends from grad school who I trusted with my life. Now I need to put some serious thought into counting that number. Everyone around me in this new environment is trying to find themselves and so am I thus creating an unbreakable bond.
At first I thought that this was just a phenomenon only happening to me. It was not. Before the concert I conversed with some people from high school. People I talked to but barely friends. And even people I once hated. I barely recognized them. On the outside they were the same. But on the inside they were people I could love. Thus, foraging new friendships. Better ones.
So in conclusion, I believe college opens you up. I believe it forces you into a world where you are accepted and you're ok with that. Yes, it is not for everyone. And yes, some people need to move around a little before they find the right place (I know I did). But I highly recommend looking hard and once you find that place sticking it out for a little. Because I would not give away what I have now for the world. And the changes I have come to love have made my life infinitely better.