Google defines College as "an independent institution of higher learning offering a course of general studies leading to a bachelor's degree."
Well, I've been enrolled in college for about two years now and, I have to say, that definition just doesn't cut it. A more accurate description would be "a four year slumber party consisting of a combination of illegal activities, Netflix, and pizza, leading to a degree you're not sure that you actually want/deserve and a lifetime of student debt."
Don't think me dramatic. Ask anyone else here and they'd probably tell you the same thing.
In high school, we see college as a fresh start where we can finally figure out who we are supposed to be, what we are supposed to do, and where we fit into this world. & in college? We figure out that is definitely not the case.
I never really gave much thought to college before my senior year. I was an average student who somehow managed to pass her classes without studying or doing any homework. I had teachers who let me slide on a lot of things that should have taught me a lesson, and I was more than grateful for that. So, when August of my final year of high school rolled around, I realized that my less than impressive GPA and average SAT scores just weren't going to cut it if I wanted to get into a college of my choice.
But what were my choices? I was months away from escaping my 12-year strong safety blanket and I still had no idea where I was going to go or what I was going to do. My parents had never bothered me about college ever before and suddenly they were down my throat about it every time I tried to take a breath. They kept telling me what I had to do to make the most of my high school career. And, the more they told me what to do, the more I didn't want to listen.
But I knew that things weren't going to get any easier for me from then on out. So I spent my senior year drowning in AP classes and expectations. I had a breakdown in a Barnes & Noble College Guide Section when my sister told me that I wouldn't even be able to get into my closest State school; I filled in an entire math section in the wrong area on my second stab at the SATs and didn't notice it until it was too late. I was a full year younger than the rest of my classmates, having been pushed forward in elementary school at the request of my mother. I kept telling myself that, maybe if I had had that extra year, I would've been ready to make these decisions. 16 was too young to know what you wanted to do with the rest of your life.
I applied to my first choice (my father's Alma Mater) and my mother's choice (Fifteen minutes from home) and nowhere else. I'd end up where I ended up. At this point, I'd have been happy getting in anywhere. So when the letter my Dad was waiting for came back in the form of an acceptance, I was sure that I was going to end up there. Somewhere had accepted me, and that was all I really needed.
But then there was also the issue of a major. In those moments when I sat down and thought about choosing an area of study, it was as if nothing interested me. Career and aptitude tests did nothing for my decision, and the opinions and concerns of others had no effect. I had had a hard enough time choosing a college, how was I supposed to pick a major as well?
And now, after rambling on for roughly 700 words, we get to the point behind all of this. I went into my freshman year of college without a major. Then a year later I entered my sophomore year undecided as well. For two years of what was supposed to be the beginnings of my "adult life", I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. And it took me those full two years to realize that not knowing what I wanted WAS ABSOLUTELY FINE.
So to high school seniors preparing to graduate: I am sitting here in my sixth semester telling you that college is about the process of finding out what you want to do. It is alright to be confused. It is fine - if not necessary - to take your time. Do not feel like you have to have everything together at this very moment.You have the next four years to figure it out, and you will figure it out at your own pace.
Enjoy what is left of your senior year, and your last summer with your friends before you venture off on different paths. Do not stress the future, because it is not here yet. Find out what you like, and what you are good at, and you will find your place in college and - eventually - the world.