For the people that can’t wait for high school to be over, for the people who hate their structured class schedules, and for the people who are indecisive about their future: this one’s for you.
It’s no secret that college is hard. In lecture halls packed with more students than your high school even graduated, the new environment may seem a bit overwhelming. Your professor most likely won’t take the time to learn your name, and you’re lucky if you get a TA who can pronounce it correctly. With hundreds of classes to choose from, how are you supposed to know what you’re supposed to do? Let me be the first to tell you to not freak out over these minor adjustments. College is immensely better than high school, and the freedom to choose your classes is only the beginning.
You have the ability to make class your favorite part of college if you so choose to do so. Are you sick of being stuck in school for seven straight hours, or going to classes that make you regret getting up in the morning? In college, not only do you have to focus on four or five classes a semester, but you also get to choose the time. Only want classes after 1 p.m.? Schedule it. Don’t want classes on Friday? Done. While you may seem swamped in school work at first, know this: every credit you complete only means you are that much closer to your career. You will hear teachers say “If you put a lot into this class, you will get a lot out of it,” and I hate to admit it, but it’s true. Classes are much more enjoyable if you’re studying what you love.
If you are anything like me—18-years-old, still having no idea what to do with your life—don’t worry. Especially if you go to a big college, your school will have an abundance of opportunities for you to explore your options. Even if you’re at a small school, you still have the ability to talk to advisors, attend career fairs, meet with older students, and take classes that spark some sort of interest. While you watch other students suffer through their second or third level Chemistry and Engineering classes, don’t feel like you’re falling behind. Most students don’t decide their major until their sophomore or junior year. Your school literally hires people who are specifically there to help you find what intrigues you—so don’t put that pressure on yourself.
One of the best parts of not being in high school anymore is getting away from the drama. Let me tell you, no one is worrying about who’s asking them to homecoming or who’s invited to the after party. No one cares if you go to the dining hall in your pajamas or if you show up in class without makeup on. Finding friends may seem challenging at first, but everyone is in the same awkward boat as you. Finding your people may encompass Greek life, intramural sports, student organizations, or simply leaving your dorm room door open for people to stop by.
Finally, the most substantial difference between high school and college is the freedom. If you want to get pizza at midnight or go to a party on a Tuesday night, by all means. Adults will tell you that with freedom comes responsibility, and they’re not wrong, but don’t let that intimidate you. Sooner or later you will learn that going to class is necessary and sometimes staying in on a Friday is good for you. Despite the difficulties that come with a university, keep in mind that Asher Roth did not write a song about high school.