I'm in my final days now of college, something I can't believe I'm writing, and my time away at college has taught me some things that I hope I can pass along to you. Technically, I didn't come to college completely alone, but in reality, I did. The couple other classmates I graduated with that came here did their own things, and I did mine. I came to campus knowing that I had no built-in friend or piece of home with me. It's something that excited me and terrified me at the same time.
My past four years have made me forge my path in who I wanted to be as an actual adult, and what I can accomplish. This might happen if you go alone or with your best friend, regardless, I just want to give a heads up for those who think they might be going down the same path as me. So, in the format of James Corden, if you're thinking of heading off to college alone, the side effects may include.
Having a clean slate to discover your identity as an individual in the world
When you go to school all your life with the same people, everyone tends to fall into a specific category and role. Without those people constantly reminding you of who they think you are, you get to decide for yourself. Feel free to experiment.
Missing your friends, a lot, but having a good excuse to come home
It's a struggle to leave your friends behind after being close and together for so long in school, and at times, you can get lonely. But, the thought of seeing them during breaks and/or long weekends is a great motivator. Plus, after some time apart, you'll come to realize that the time you spend together now means that much more.
Missing your family, a lot, but now they have a good excuse to come visit you
By graduation, you can't wait to get away from family drama and your ever-present siblings, but after a bit of time without them, you actually start to miss them. And, your new place and town mean an extra incentive to come to visit. You'll actually enjoy the cramped dorms and apartments, when your loved ones are tetris'd across the floor.
Having a much-needed crash course in responsibility and independence
Sure, by high school you've gained some responsibility, but you haven't seen anything yet. You'll be making quite a few calls back home to understand what bills actually are, and don't even get me started on grocery shopping. But, you'll have space and long-distance support system to let you maneuver this new reality.
Making brand new friends and forming a new community for yourself
Coming to a new place means meeting new people, and if you didn't bring anyone with you from home, you're going to want to talk to them. You'll be in a position where you need (and hopefully want) to find people to socialize with and be comfortable around. You may even make some new lifelong friends you never expected to have.
College is a time and experience of personal growth, and you should be prepared for what that means for you. In my case, it took me away from friends and family, but it did not take away our relationships. You should do your best to figure out the best place for you to learn and thrive and know that amazing new experiences are ahead for you and that loving friends and family will be waiting back home.