Friends VS. College: The Challenge Of Finding Yourself

Friends VS. College: The Challenge Of Finding Yourself

At times, it hard to leave the ones you care about the most behind.
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It's coming to that time of year when high school seniors get back their acceptance letters from the colleges and universities they've applied to over the course of the past four-plus months. The anxieties of opening acceptance or rejection letters, there comes down to the choice of which college to attend. Despite the academic factors, social interactions have the capability to make or break someone's college experience; so when finding a school that meets to a students social needs is as important as academics.

Through this need of a social circle in a new chapter of a student's life, many students stick to the same social circles in high school. From planning out which one of you high school besties are going to be your roommate to picking out classes together, the future just seems more stable knowing you're not going into the dark, unknown abyss of college alone.

But I believe that it is through this adjustment to the unstable that our true personalities shine.

During the spring of my senior year, I decided to attend a small, liberal arts college on the prairie of west-central Minnesota. Whenever I'd bring up of the name of the college, nearly everyone responded, "where is that?" My college is not the most well known school in Minnesota but it was the perfect fit for me: a close community, phenomenal scholarship offers and an atmosphere that made me feel like home. Where people saw another small-town university, I saw my dream college. The only thing that I found was a concerning factor was the fact that I was the only one of my school, and friend group for that matter, that was attending this college. While I decided on a campus out of state, many of my friends either decided to go to a local state college or lay off school for a semester. My greatest fear of attending college was that I was going to be alone.

Often I would contemplate giving up my dream school to attend my state's college just so I wouldn't be so far away from my friends. But no matter where I looked, these state schools didn't compare to the fit that my dream schools had to me. I was at a crossroad. In the end, I decided to take a leap of faith and venture out into the next stage of my life on my own. And I can confidently say it was the best decision I could have made for myself.

Going to a "new-start" college allowed me to step out of my comfort zone. At times, it was hard experiencing life on my own without my strong network of friends by my side. But it re-enforced my self confidence through trying new things, meeting new people, finding my own interests and most importantly discovering who I was as a human being.

But I never lost contact with my closest friends. Although miles away, phone calls and texts became our lifeline. It reassured me that through the distance between us, we were still an important aspect of our relationships. Through this I became aware that I wasn't just afraid of being alone, but being forgotten. The years I have spent with my friends from elementary to high school I feared the thought of losing the people who I cared for most dearly. But it was through that friendship that I found the support to live my life to the fullest, even if that meant going to school hours away from them. My closest friends were my biggest supporters and through that they motivated me to seek out my fullest potential.

College is a beautiful time in life to venture out and explore the next stage of your life. At times, it's hard to move on from the love and security that your friends give you. But if they are your true friends, they will stay. They will continue to support you no matter where you go and believe in you and your dreams. At times it is important to remember that it's okay to let go. Your life isn't solely determined through the relationships you build, but the relationship and respect you have for yourself in order to grow and thrive.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Duncan

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hot air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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