Yes, college is where you pay thousands of dollars to endure a really long test of how far you can go until you explode all for a VERY expensive piece of paper. However, here me out on why it's worth all of it for an expensive piece of paper.
I entered college in 2015, I am still going because I am going for my masters but I am towards the end. I was thinking about the ending of this era of my life and this is the advice I want to give before I walk across that stage and get that diploma. At the time I entered college I wore about a size two - four maybe since then I have gained weight and as much as I am still trying to lose weight now, I am still happier on the heavier side of the scale than the lighter. (No, I am not supporting being unhealthy but being on the bigger side of the scale does not mean unhealthy.) I changed my hair a few times, I have chopped off inches, dyed it all of that, mostly thanks to midterms or finals or just because professors do not understand that you're only human, life happens. My taste in boys has changed, that being I look for a different type of personality instead of the ones I used to like. I found new friends, and lost some friends from home as they did not have a place in my life anymore. Which, as sad and bad as that sounds trust me it's for the better. You always have to remember that you should surround yourself with people who support you instead of the ones who are dragging you down. The new friends that I have made are the friends I never knew how much I needed them.
College has made me come out of my shell, a shell that needed to be broken. I am speaking in all aspects, personality and dressing style wise. College forces you to be you, you should not and will not be able to fly under the radar at college. That does not mean that the entire college will know who you are but people will notice you and interact with you. College is not an in your shell place. Even if that makes you get anxiety thinking about that, just know that as scary as that sounds, once it's broken you'll be a happier person TRUST ME. You will laugh more, and joke around more, develop a smile that is unlike one you've ever made before. Don't worry though you will have your moments where you cry for no reason but that's normal but you must remember to handle it in a healthy way. It is a balance from laughing until your stomach hurts to crying out a river.
To be completely honest, I did NOT choose my top choice school, mostly because I got into everywhere I applied to except my top choice. I don't know if I would have been able to have this amazing rollercoaster ride at that school, but what I do know now is that college is the literal definition of everything that happens for a reason. I have always said that because that is what my mother taught me growing up, but as most of us we don't believe everything our parents say. But my mom was so right about this one for sure.
In college you're forced to grow up and morph into who you really are. You think college is all about having fun, and a little bit about school. However, it's about the balance of both but ultimately it's about molding yourself into your best version without you noticing until the end. My point here is that if you're a senior graduating high school this year and you are going to college next year but you have all this excitement with fear all at the same time just know that's normal!
However, know that everything is about to change. I know how terrifying that might be but some changes might be the most painful you will ever go through and you WILL make it through. In the following years you will lose people, you will lose your mind, you body will probably change, you will get home sick, you will get super sick from all the germs, you will face harsh professors, you will face hard classes, you probably fail once along the way, you probably will think going to college was the worst decision of your life. BUT with that all being said, you will become the best version of yourself, you will be a happier person that you accomplished everything by yourself, you will be thankful for all the adversity that came your way, you will be thankful for the professors that did not just hand you an A and made you work for it. Trust me that thankfulness of the professor who was harsh on you doesn't come until you're basically at the end.
College will show you that life isn't all sunshine and rainbows but when that sunshine and rainbow comes out it's literally the best feeling. College is working on yourself while being around people who are also working on themselves, it's a community of people who are becoming the best versions of themselves.
No matter the school you go to, student pains through college will always have someone who is in the same boat as you. We comfort each other to the max without saying much. Trust me the most comforting things you will hear in college are, "It's free", "I haven't started either", "It's okay I failed too", "Yeah I thought that was hard too", "I'm proud of you", "It's chicken nugget day in the cafe". College has its ups and downs but it's the best roller coaster you will EVER ride.
And this part in this long winded advice and comforting writing piece, is what you should come back and read whenever you feel what is written above is a pile of garbage.
Take your time in college. There is no rush to anything. So what if it takes you 5, 6, 7 or however many years to finish school? When you finish, you finish. Don't give up. You got this. You will get to the end zone. You might be feeling that you keep losing yards but you will gain those yards back plus more. This is just the point in the story that is called the climax. Stay tuned until the end because in life, your life story only can end one way, with you happy.
College is like the longest, toughest time of your life. To put it in perspective, it's like the ending of a big basketball game, you as the walk on are getting some playing time and of course the team is down by one and you are passed the ball with 0.9 SECONDS to make that three pointer to win the game. Which of course you make. College is over in the blink of an eye but when you're in the heart of it, it will feel like an eternity. After all of that time of working hard and proving yourself, this is the three pointer that you will make to only close this section of your life story to move onto bigger and better things.