You grow up with the same people since Kindergarten.
You have many of the same teachers and take the same classes. You play sports together, learn instruments together, act in plays and musicals together. But then you get to college, and everything you once knew changes forever.
The cliques fade away, as does any type of 'popularity', and you find yourself relearning how to live. If you have not experienced this, then that probably sounds extreme. But it's very much true. All the rules you once thought you had to follow and all the friends you once had are gone and you are forced to start over.
Now, you might have already been in different friend groups growing up or maybe you have only ever been in one group. Yet, when you get to college, it is inevitable that you will have friends from all different groups and backgrounds. Your roommate is an athlete. Your partner in class is in theater. The girl next to you at breakfast is in a sorority. Your co-worker is from another country. That is perhaps one of the most incredible aspects of college; you get the opportunity to interact with hundreds of new people.
They know nothing about you and you know nothing about them, but here you both are, in the same place at the same time, taking on the same four-year journey.
Introduce yourself. Educate yourself. Expose yourself to other people's lives and cultures and backgrounds. We often forget that there are billions of other people on this planet that have lives just like ours, so ask questions. College is an unique place. You develop a bond and connection with people that is unexplainable and forms on its own time. You will not always have the opportunities that you have right now. To know and see these people everyday, to walk on the same grounds as them and take classes with them, or to live in the same buildings as them.
Take advantage of every second living away from home surrounded by people who share common goals and interests.
High school is long in the past. Forget everything you once knew. No more cliques and no more popularity. There is simply people. Many, many people just like you that are eager to learn and excited to live. You have come to the same place for the same purpose. Make the most of this time and meet as many of these people as you can. Because that basketball player, that fraternity boy, that ballet dancer, that International student or that girl in the band who plays four instruments might just end up being your closest friend.
Embrace the unknown. Embrace the diversity and the differences. Embrace the opportunities as well as the challenges.
Embrace college and leave your comfort zone, because you never know who you'll meet, and that's amazing