4 Ways College Changes You For The Better

4 Ways College Changes You For The Better

Change is a rule of life, especially in college.
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College is both a scary and exhilarating time for many students. However, it’s an experience of a lifetime that can truly change you forever. Here are just a few of the ways that this new chapter of your life affects you.

You discover that there are more important things than yourself.

In a place where you’re surrounded by humanity, you see other people struggling. You see other people who may seem fine on the surface, but underneath have family and personal issues just like you. Tons of college students have anxiety and try to deal with it everyday, but nobody talks about it. You talk to your family members back home, and there is something about the distance that makes you really care about what is going on in their lives. In class, you learn new things that make you look at the world in a new light. You learn about people from every walk of life, countries where things are different, and ideas that are bigger than anything you could’ve ever imagined. College opens you up and makes you see things bigger than yourself.

You realize that you are truly an adult now.

Sure, when you turned eighteen you were officially an adult, but there is something about living on your own that makes you feel like a real adult. Your parents aren’t around to help you decide things and you have to learn to make your own choices. This also means being prepared to accept the outcome of the choices, no matter how bad it may be. No one is there when you sleep in too late to wake you up. No one is there to remind you of anything important. You are reliant on yourself and if something goes wrong, it’s on you, and only you. College gives you freedom that can be both liberating, and scary.

You miss childhood and realize that your family won’t ever be the same.

Things happen during your time spent away from home: your little brother grows closer to your mom, your family does things without you, and traditions once cherished are now altered by this huge shift in your life. People have major milestones while you’re not around. You’re not there to see your brother get his learner’s permit or you miss your grandma visiting because you’re busy that weekend. Also, major life roadblocks happen. People or pets that are close to you may pass away. To deal with life changes in a totally different place takes an insane amount courage and strength. College teaches you how to cope with the combination of life changes and distance.

You learn a lot about yourself.

Spending time alone happens a lot in college and it is the time when you learn most about yourself and who you truly are. You may have never known that you liked certain things or had a certain attitude towards people. You may learn that you’re more introverted or extroverted than you thought you were. In college, there is constant interaction between people. These interactions make you realize the way you communicate or lead. It can be both interesting and scary to dive deep into yourself to discover who you really are as an individual. College provides the opportunities for you to uncover the person that you have been all along.

Cover Image Credit: Victoria Drake

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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4 Insightful Quotes From 'The Alchemist' That Will Resonate With People Who Want To Follow Their Dreams

Paulo Coelho's famed coming-of-age novel continues to inspire readers today with following their dreams.

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In "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, a young boy named Santiago embarks on a life-changing journey to find a hidden treasure in the pyramids of Egypt and learns the importance of following one's destiny along the way. Since its release in the 1990s, "The Alchemist" has captivated people all over the world, including TV personality Oprah Winfrey and actor Will Smith.

With its powerful messages of love and gratitude, here are some of the most insightful quotes from the novel that will resonate with those who want to find and pursue their purpose in life.

1. “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

Dawn, seaside and sea HD

On his journey, Santiago learns that love exists as a universal language in the world. When people follow their dreams and passions, they are driven by the power of love. With this power, one can guide themselves on the path to finding their own treasure and accomplishing their goals. Actively shaping your destiny through love can also positively improve how you perceive everything around you.

2. “When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”

Sunset Sunrise Sun

Too often people live their days accustomed to routine and consistency. When you begin treating each day as a new day full of opportunities and find time to appreciate the good things, you start seeing the beauty of life. This importance of practicing gratitude serves as a reminder to the world that life is fleeting, and we must strive to always make the best and see the best of our situations.

3. “And, when you can't go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.”

Lake By The Mountains

Throughout their lives, people will make mistakes and have regrets, and we will often spend days wondering what we could've done differently. We forget that we can't change the past and that the only thing that matters is how we move forward in the present day. So let go of past mistakes and regrets, and focus on how you can improve the present.

4. “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”

Mountains Dirt Road Hill

In the novel, Santiago hears a story of a man who wanted to learn the secret of happiness from a wise king. The king told the man to walk around his palace holding a spoon full of oil and making sure not to spill it. After successfully doing so, he returns to the king and he asks if the man had seen all the beauty of his castle, which he ignored in his quest to keep the oil on the spoon. When following our dreams, we must not lose sight of appreciating all the wonders of life along the way; after all, it's not about the destination, but the journey.

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