Starting the "best years of your life" is a very intimidating and confusing time for a person. Essentially, you are told that within the next four years you are going to peak. So, it's all down hill after this? During senior year of high school, you are addressed with a plethora of difficult questions: Where are you attending college? What will your major be? Where do you see yourself in five years? Are you kidding?
Once you begin to figure out a few of these answers, you are given advice that you never asked for. "Office hours are essential," "Always keep your dorm room door open," "Get involved on campus," "Boys only ever want one thing," "Get to know your professors," and my personal, ignored favorite, "Go to class." Great, thanks so much. If you need me I'll be over here having trouble breathing while my ass sweats.
Anyway, I know you didn't ask for this information either but you did open this article to read it so here's the funny thing about college: Nobody ever tells you about all of the changes. Sure, they try to help by providing all of this useful advice, but since going to college is already such a stressful time in one's life, nobody ever likes to focus on the negatives. However, I believe it's important to be prepared and aware. So shield your eyes, anxiety-driven people because here's the truth.
On that very first day when your parents drop you off, with tears in both of your eyes, you will be left standing in the middle of your dorm room, unsure of what to do next. You leave your door open just like everyone told you, but nobody else seems to have gotten this advice. A football is then dropped right in front of your door by one of the boys on your floor. You start talking to the three who were playing catch in the hallway, and become friends. On the third day, you and your roommate might find something in common and start watching Friends together on Netflix. The next week, classes begin. You miss your first Math class because you went the exact opposite direction halfway across campus. You're not used to walking to school, or finding classes by using your GPS on your phone (thanks, Siri). You find a bathroom nearby, go in a stall and lock it, call your dad and cry. Then, it's the third week of college and you join greek life to meet new people. Suddenly, you have 60 new "sisters" who you are supposed to love right off the bat. But we just met?
It's now Thanksgiving break. You dread going home because that only means having to leave your beloved family once again, and you're not good with goodbyes. Filled with turkey and stuffing you kiss them and head back to the new, undiscovered place you should now call home. But it doesn't feel like home? It's that stormy time in the semester when all teachers get together and say "let's screw over our students by scheduling a lot of work at the same time." So, you are hit with a tornado of three papers, four midterms, a presentation, and two projects. You go to as many office hours as you can. You get worn down and tired, going to bed at three AM every morning just to finish your homework due the next day, only to start all over again. You come down with the flu, and your mom comes to visit and take care of you. But I'm not a baby anymore, I shouldn't need my mom? But you do. Some girls invite you to go out to a party with them. But, I had known my old friends for seven years. It feels different but exciting. You start becoming closer with everyone on your floor and in your sorority.
It starts snowing outside and everyone starts to pack up to leave for Winter break. Suddenly, you feel a pit in your stomach. You don't want to leave. You greet your parents and quiet home, and get into a fight with your mom about curfew and your dad yells at you because you didn't wash your plate off right after you ate. You return to school, eager to start Syllabus Week of the second semester. You stay up all night hurled over a trashcan in your bed. But, I didn't throw up in high school? You begin an entire set of new classes, with new classmates, new professors, and new, challenging-to-find locations. You meet a cute boy. You now have a new group that you consider some of your best friends. You discover something about yourself, that you like writing or drawing cartoons or playing a sport.
Then, as fast as it began, it ends. You look at your empty dorm room and remember that was exactly how you felt the very first day. You spend the entire ride reminiscing on all the time you spent at your new home. You realize that your old friends have changed as much as you have, meeting new people and discovering new things. You walk into your house and it's cleaner than ever before with your parents' new found free time. Things have changed and they will continue to change the next four years of your life. It's not always going to be easy. You will cry, maybe have some panic attacks, and be more stressed than ever before. The funny about college is that all of this change really is more than worth it.