Everyone always says that college changes you. I was never a big proponent of that idea. I always interpreted that as something negative, like people changing into non-stop part goers or lazy students. College changing a person made it sound like someone giving into pressures from others around them. However, I have discovered first-hand that this idea does not always have to be a negative change. In my case, college changing me has been nothing but positive.
I spent some time lately thinking about how much the last three years have changed, both with me personally and just everything in general. Some of the things I do now, I would have never dreamed of attempting in my high school days. Again, positive things. This goes along with sharing and expressing the things I loved.
That included one of my greatest passions, photography. I have just now begun to share my work with others more regularly, not because I’m ashamed of what I love to do, but it all goes back to that shy high school person. If I met my high school self now, I would laugh at all the reasons why I refused to express my individuality more. But, I know that these feelings all come along with growing up and maturing.
In high school, I was also more introverted. Don’t get me wrong, I still am, but in a different sense. I never sought to express myself in high school. I was always so concerned about whether or not people would accept me and what I did. Obviously, college has a way of changing those fears quite quickly. College has a funny way of giving you absolutely no choice but to grow. Whether it’s through countless speeches in class, introductions to classmates, or bonding time with hall mates in your dorm. College makes you meet new people and expand your horizons like never before.
I was debating about not going to get the “college experience” my first two years. The thought of getting my basics done at a local college was quite appealing. I could have stayed at home with my parents in the comfort of my own home, taken classes locally, and not to mention, saved a ton of money. However, I’m glad I chose the opposite route. I’m proud of myself for taking a step that would better me for the rest of my life. Not only does college change you for the better, but it continues to change you even after you have left such an experience.
My college plan is flipped sort of backwards compared to most. I went off to school for the first two years away, but came back to finish my last three semesters at my local college campus. I didn’t move back because I didn’t love where I was at, but I made the commitment in the beginning that I would for financial reasons. In the end, I will cherish my first two years away more and more as each semester passes. I’m so blessed to have been given the opportunity to grow as a person through my college experience. And as to my high school self, that person is unrecognizable these days.