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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13 Style Mistakes Every Girl Made In The 2000s

Hide your selfies.
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1. Crimped Hair

2. Straightened Side Bangs With Curly Hair

3. Jeans under skirts

4. A "poof" with two braids

...thanks Lizzie Mcguire

5. The solo "poof" with straight hair

Lauren Conrad made this acceptable, right?

6. All silver or light blue eye shadow

7. Too Much Eyeliner

8. "Emo" hair

9. Ponchos

10. Tank Tops Over T-Shirts

11. Those "shrug" Half Sweaters that tied in the middle *cringe*

12. The uggs, graphic t, jean skirt, and leggings combo.

13. Stretching our tank tops way down under a tight T-shirt... Layers are trendy, right?

Cover Image Credit: College Fashion

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A Cancelled Exchange Trip 2 Years Ago Helped Me Realize The Importance Of Lost Experiences

A few years ago, I signed up for an exchange trip to Essen, Germany. Two months later, I received news that the trip had to be cancelled. Two years later, I feel all the disappointment I should have felt that year.

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Two years ago, I signed up for an exchange trip to Essen, Germany. I'll admit that I was reluctant at first, and it took much cajoling and threats on the part of my parents. But I finally relented and allowed some of my parents' wisdom to seep in — the exchange would be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the German culture and to open my mind a little.

A few weeks after I registered for the exchange, the coordinators started "matching" us with German students. In my mind, it was similar to a dating app. Some of my fellow American students and I filled out a form with questions ranging from, "What do you do in your free time?" to "Why are you learning German?" We then were "matched" with a corresponding German student who had similar interests and hobbies based on a form they filled out.

After I was "matched" with my student, I started contacting her. We began to talk on Snapchat and discussed similarities between our lives and compared our hobbies and classes. As the weeks passed, I truly began to feel excited about her arrival in Atlanta and my arrival in Essen. I couldn't wait for October (when the Germans would come), and I was even more excited to go to Germany in the following summer.

But about a month before the German students were scheduled to arrive, we received some distressing news — the trip had to be cancelled.

I'm still not sure why, but I know the cancellation was due to a problem on the American end (how typical) and had to do with some problems in the county headquarters (again, how typical). Both sides of the exchange were disappointed, but at the time I merely brushed it off. I even mentioned (unabashedly) of how glad I was to have a free summer.

Yet looking back two years later, I definitely do feel disappointment at the cancellation of the trip. But most importantly, I feel disappointment at my failure to realize of all the amazing experiences I could have had.

I could have learned so much about the German culture. I could have made lifelong friendships with the German students. I could have tried new foods and done things I normally wouldn't or couldn't have done.

But I didn't push to have the trip un-cancelled. I didn't bother to find out what happened. In fact, my blatant ignorance of what had happened was proof of my apathetic nature towards the trip — and I very much regret that now.

I won't be the first to admit that I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, and there are my situations and times when I wish I could have acted differently. But the cancellation of the exchange trip, although due to unforeseeable factors out of my control, proved to be one of the biggest let-downs in my life.

I know I'll have more of these disappointments in the future, and there's no way I can prepare for all of them. But learning and knowing the value of lost experiences will truly open my eyes to the world and help me lead a better, less regretful life.

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