After making a trip over break home to my alma mater, a small all-girls Catholic high school in Kansas City, I was reminded of the very real and awakening culture shock I received just five months ago. I passed through the hallways, reminiscing on all the contagious laughs and stress tears these walls had seen throughout my four years, here. Students who seemed entirely too young to be in high school buzzed by in their white collars and infamous grey skirts, with unbrushed ponytails and not a teenage boy in sight. On my drive home, I rekindled that revelation I had at the beginning of this semester -- I live in an entirely whole different world, now.
Obviously, I knew college would be much different than high school. Like any other newcomer, I no longer had curfew, no sacked lunches made by Mom, and no more eight-hour school days. The first few days away at school, I quickly realized that I would have much more of a change than most freshman.
It was the first day of class. My alarm went off at 9:30 a.m., three hours later than my high school wake up call. I rolled out of bed and prepared to take on the day. As I approached my closet, I faced my first obstacle. After throwing on the same outfit every day for the past twelve years, I was completely overwhelmed by the idea of picking out an outfit for school. I felt like I was staring at a vending machine and being forced to pick out just one snack to eat for the rest of my life. This was an immense decision.
Do I go grunge so I'm not trying too hard? Or should I dress cute so they won't think I'm a slob? Luckily, my mom was prepared for this obstacle, unlike myself, and forced me to shop for everyday wear during the summer -- a concept I did not really understand at the time. After ten minutes of indecisiveness, and a floor covered in unsuitable options, I finally threw on what I believed to be a perfect, "I'm not a try hard, but I'm not gross either" outfit.
I headed to class, passing giddy and anxious students just like myself. As I smiled at each by passer despite their confused, "do I know you?" looks, I noticed one thing these girls remembered that I did not -- makeup. Swiping on some mascara did not even cross my mind through my morning routine. Makeup on a Monday? No way. No one wore concealer on the weekdays; you save that for the weekend when it actually matters what you look like. After a little over a mile walk, I finally arrived to class, puzzled why none of the other girls were remotely sweaty like myself.
I knew the class size in college would be about the size of my entire high school, so I wasn't shocked by the small concert that was my sociology lecture. My next adjustment was fully expected, yet still stunned me. I took my seat towards the front, my naive self being worried I would not be able to hear the professor in the back. I slid past an array of students in the row to an open seat. I pulled out my laptop and prepared to tackle my first college class. All focused and ready to learn, I was quickly startled by the specimen sitting next to me.
Oh, my God. That's a boy. And he's in my class. Ew, his hand writing is so bad. He smells like a locker room just mopped with beer. This is weird. My mind swirled with with overwhelming revelations as I coped with my new way of life. At this moment, I finally realized my days of estrogen-filled classrooms and open exchange of tampons were over.
Coming to college has been a culture shock. I quickly learned that there is a world outside of passing periods and uniforms. I realized brushing your hair daily is expected, and makeup was not created solely for Saturday nights. Unfortunately, some old habits die hard. It dawned on me that just because there is a cute boy sitting next to you, it does not mean you don't raise your hand in lecture. Uppermost, was the undeniable conclusion that boys are the root of all drama.
Although my high school environment was the cause for many college shocks, I am forever grateful for the experiences Sion gave me and the confidence it instilled in me along the way. I cannot help but laugh when my new friends say, "Wow an all-girls high school? I bet that was awful." Little do they know how much a uniform can change your life and how surprisingly refreshing it is to go a whole five days without boys.