Going Away For College Was The Best Decision I've Ever Made

Going Away For College Was The Best Decision I've Ever Made

Because I couldn't imagine my life today if I would've stayed home for school.

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nadoty
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I did not want to go away to college.

Imagine this. You're 17 years old, you don't have a lot of friends, you have a great job, an amazing steady boyfriend, and you have a short few weeks to commit to your future. Why would you want to go away to school?

That was my predicament. My parents put into perspective how harder my life would be if I had chose to stay home for school. I would have to balance working full time while commuting back and forth, and the schools close to me held a future of crippling debt if I decided to go.

Finally, before my 18th birthday, I committed to a school I had never visited where I practically didn't know anyone was going. This decision would eventually be the best decision I have ever made.

I am so grateful my parents pushed me to go away from school. Sure, I am 180 miles away from everything I know at home, but I am studying what I love and I have met incredible people from all walks of life that I wouldn't have crossed paths with.

College brought me my amazing sorority who are full of women who I admire and look up to. College brought me the program of my dreams where I am a dual Elementary Education and Special Education Major, with an extension on my license where I can teach Mild K-12 instead of only K-6. College brought me College Mentors For Kids, a program I am so passionate about where I get to collaborate with amazing people, schools, and work with the best kids I've ever encountered. College brought me the wonderful people of the Odyssey, where I aspire to be like half of the great writers as they are. College brought me the best relationship with my significant other, where our mostly long-distance relationship has bonded us closer than I could've ever imagined. Most importantly, the college has brought me to amazing people.

The amazing people who have, so far, helped shaped my college journey have been a dream. I can't believe how lucky I am to have met my best friend, professors who are passionate about their students and shaping the minds of future professionals, children who inspire me, my future bridesmaids, and individuals who encourage me to be the best version of myself that I could be.

Deciding to go away to college was the hardest decision I have ever made. I was scared, lonely, and worried about how I would fit in and who I would be. I was afraid I would hate it. I was afraid I would be a bad student. I was afraid I wouldn't belong. Luckily, I am the happiest I have ever been to. I don't have to go out every night to feel validated in my friendships. I don't have to go to parties or pretend to be something I am not to have a great college experience.

The moral of this story is essentially don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Test your limits and test your comfort. Have faith in yourself and faith in your future that everything works out the way it should in the end.

I am so grateful and blessed for Ball State University.

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10 Ways College Is 100% NOTHING Like High School

Once-a-day showers go to dry shampoo for four days straight.

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As a college freshman well into their second semester, it has officially occurred to me just how different, and often times better, college is compared to its predecessor, high school.

Here are just 10 ways the two could not be MORE different:

1. How you sleep

You'll go from waking up three hours before school to three minutes before class

2. How you hygiene

Once-a-day showers develop into dry shampoo for four days straight.

3. How you eat

Pizza goes from a once-in-a-while treat to an everyday food group.

4. How you socialize

You'll go from being nice to everyone to disliking people for no reason.

5. How much effort you put into your appearance

High school contour was on fleek and now there's somehow mascara on your forehead.

6. How you nap

Naps go from two hours to 10 minutes.

7. How you operate heavy machinery

Driving goes from 10 and 2 with perfectly lined up mirrors to driving with your knees and eating a taco.

8. Your classmates

High school classes are with all of your friends and college classes have strangers in them almost every day.

9. The people teaching you things

High school teachers are scary and mean, while college professors become your friends.

10. Textbooks

High school textbooks are provided where college textbooks need to be bought with another student loan.

Cover Image Credit: Instargram//Madsbythesea

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I'm About To Burst, Laughing At The People Who Thought My Pregnancy Meant I Had To Drop Out Of College

I get stared at in the halls and asked if I am going to drop out. Here are ways being a pregnant student has changed my college experience.

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I have been pregnant the entire time that I have been in graduate school. It was not how I planned to experience grad school, but it has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective and will give me a lovely son (seriously, any second now). There are certain things that I did not realize about being a pregnant student until I experienced it, and maybe my experiences can help better prepare other women, or give them something to relate to since pregnant students are such a rare breed.

As a grad student and a 25-year-old, I am around the average age to have my first child in America. I am not dependent on my parents and the world does not treat me like a child anymore.

However, since I decided to pursue my master's degree, I feel that people are not used to seeing pregnant and student in the same sentence without gasping.

When I first told my father, his first reaction was to ask me if I was to going to drop out.

This became a recurrent reaction from my family and friends (which my boyfriend who is also a student was never asked once). I did not expect the hesitant reactions and it made me feel shameful to be a pregnant student. As my expecting belly grew I always noticed that people on campus would stare at my stomach.

As I walked past, their eyes followed my belly like I had a giant red felt "A" on my chest.

None of my classmates are pregnant and thinking back, I can't remember ever seeing a pregnant woman in all of my five years of college. Since none of my classmates were pregnant, I felt like I had no one to relate to. There are a lot of things that pregnancy effects, besides the baby in the tummy part. I could not go out and get drinks with my classmates and bond with them the way that they were all doing. I could not relate to them fashionably because maternity clothes are heinous. I also feel like pregnancy put up a barrier because I would have a baby eventually and will always be busy, so why bother?

Pregnancy side effects would sometimes take a toll on my school work. In the first trimester, I could barely get out of bed because I was so tired. I could easily have slept 14 hours straight and being a working student did not help. I would seep through some of my classes and had to take the hit to my attendance points. I also have "pregnancy brain." Pregnancy brain is a real thing and is not well known enough. My mind can be so scattered that I forget my friend's names while I am speaking to them. I think it is October when it is March. Pregnancy brain has made me forget that I even go to school or that I work in twenty minutes. I missed due dates or completely misread instructions on assignments. For someone who needs A's on every assignment to function, it hurt because I would never make that mistake otherwise.

There are also benefits to being a pregnant student. I am never hungover and I have never been tempted to ditch a night class for a drinking holiday.

Pregnancy has allowed me to prioritize my school work and ignore the college lifestyle.

Before I knew I was pregnant, I went with my roommates to bars in Chicago's Lincoln Park. I feel so happy knowing getting wasted from $3 shots on a Wednesday is behind me. I now truly have nothing better to do at night than complete my homework.

Another benefit is that you sometimes get special treatment. The special treatment that pregnant women get is awesome. It is my favorite part and sometimes makes me wish I could be pregnant forever. People feel obligated to wait on me hand and foot. If I drop something, people rush to pick it up. It is completely not necessary but I get to feel like a princess for a day (or 280 days). Even though I was singled out for being the only pregnant woman, I was always treated especially nicely by students and professors.

Regardless of my friends and family expecting me to drop out, I am doing phenomenal in grad school. I have received A's in every class and have loved all of my classes. Being a pregnant student can be tough, but it is totally doable. If you find yourself to be a pregnant student, don't feel discouraged. It is not ruining your college experience but allowing you to do college differently.

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