1. You realize the "college bubble" is real (and you're not immune to it).
You're basically living in a self-contained mini-village. Need food? Dining area. Need shelter? Dorm. Need exercise? Gym. This community can provide for (almost) all your needs, and is run by staff that are among the few who have regular connection with the outside world. Suddenly, you start to feel you may be in one of the bubbles of divergent factions (and who knows who's actually watching).
2. You realize what it takes to drive you crazy.
That guy in front of you in Western Civ? Yeah, by the end of the semester, the way he taps his pencil every time he gets irritated makes you crazy. You've been around people long enough to notice things about them and about the way things work on campus that makes you feel a little (well)... crazy.
3. You realize what can distract you (like, every time).
So paper writing is a real thing apparently. But so are... other things. By the end of the semester, you've nailed it. You know those pug faces can greet you every time you pull up that Google search, and the temptation? It's real.
4. You realize you gotta make your own happiness.
The mini-village isn't all sunshine and unicorns. So apparently you have to improvise. At college you've learned how. Sometimes, to get the happiness back, you just have to burst into dance parties in the middle of that project.
5. You realize what true vulnerability looks like and how much you need it.
Few people actually know who you really are when you got to campus during your first year. And you could've left it that way. But you need support, and you realize if you never let people in and see the real you, then you'll never really be supported.
6. You realize that you really love people (but also really can't stand them).
That girl in psychology has some serious skills. You love that. You're inspired by her. But, that girl in psychology really has some serious skills. You can't stand that. It's a weird dichotomy of existence (but oh so real).
7. You realize that sometimes all you want to do is hide.
There's people everywhere! There's people... everywhere. You may feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde because sometimes you want to be with the people and (other times) all you want to do is hide from their faces, talents, judgements... them.
8. You realize how much you care.
Apparently you do actually care what other people think (even though you might have told yourself otherwise). Heck, you care a whole lot about what you think about yourself. And the thoughts can just be... too much.
9. You realize that sometimes all you want to do is disrupt the system.
So you care about what people in this mini-village think, and sometimes you just wish that you didn't. You just want to throw it all aside. Start a flash-mob. Dance on your way to class. Burst out into song. Do something (anything) to go against the grain.
10. You realize stressing comes with adulting.
Stress is real, and college shows you how much you can handle before your functioning reaches level zero. Enough said.
11. You realize you have to stay sane.
So stress sneaks and steals sanity, but you gotta say no-oh. Self pep-talks may be regular occurrences. Spontaneity with the crew is a must. Whatever your outlet, you see sanity must be guarded.
12. You realize adulting is inevitable.
Apparently you actually will have to leave and get a real job someday. Have real bills. Make real phone calls. Have real responsibilities.
13. You realize you're in denial.
And you realize that now is not (quite) yet that full-on adulting time. So might as well sometimes ignore that you're technically an adult. While you still can.
14. You realize what you're made of.
College pushes you to your limits, and you are forced to actually see your limits. But maybe, this has also helped you see your strengths. You know yourself more fully, and you see what really makes you who you are and what you're capable of accomplishing.
15. You realize that (ultimately) it's really your choice.
So, how this whole college experience affects you is really up to you. It's what you make of it. And through it, you can see even more. Life (even adulting) is what you make of it. The choice is yours.