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 The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.

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So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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