True Life: I'm in College
Change is scary. That is a fact. heading into the new and unknown is filled with an abundance of unsureness and fear of all the what if’s life has to offer. Despite everyone saying how incredible college is and how it is “the best four years of your life”, going off to school is by no means an exception to this fear of change. As the summer comes to an end, and the countdown to the day where you have to leave home begins, we at nuyu want to offer some words of advice. Going off to school can be terrifying, don’t let anyone tell you differently or make you feel immature for feeling nervous. But also keep in mind, it is going to be okay. As you go through college, as in life, you will experience both ups and downs.
Although the three of us are all in the same place right now, interning for the summer at nuyu, in the fall we will each be entering a different year of school as a sophomore, junior, and senior. As every year comes with new challenges, new lessons, and new amazing memories, we each offer a different perspective on what it is like to be at these different stages of our college careers.
So you’re gonna be a Freshman...
Being a freshman in college is an extremely intimidating position to be in. You are the youngest in your community and you are the least familiar with your surroundings. I was pretty terrified the summer leading up to my first year at college. I didn’t know anyone going into it--I had even decided to do a random roommate selection which was pretty rare at my school. My first day on campus was overwhelming as expected, as was my night. I remember just following big groups of people around trying to meet as many people as possible. Normally I would never feel comfortable randomly meeting so many people, but one of the things that makes freshman year so much easier is that everyone is in the same position as you. Everyone wants to meet people, everyone is feeling lost and out of place. Therefore people are super approachable and are looking to make friends. Once I got over the notoriously awkward first few months, the year got a lot easier.
Going into Sophomore Year…
Summer is now coming to an end and sophomore year is approaching. It’s crazy how different my mindset is entering this coming year compared to the last. Not only am I calm and without anxiety, I am actually excited. I no longer have to stress about making friends, feeling overwhelmed, and my roommate is one of my closest friends, not a random stranger I know nothing about. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends instead of being forced to make new ones. My new level of comfort is causing my expectations for the year to heighten, and according to upperclassmen I’ve talked to, I won’t be disappointed.
Going into Junior Year...
With junior year approaching, all I can feel is excitement in my bones. Eager to return to my beloved college town for now the third time, I am anxiously awaiting for August to roll around. I can’t wait to reunite with the friends I’ve made countless memories and stories for the books with. Honestly, it feels like I don’t have a care in the world. I’ve declared my major, I feel socially comfortable, and am no longer worried about returning in the fall. Junior year is typically a great time in a college student’s life. If I had to touch on the fear of change, I would jump to second semester, a time where many juniors decide to go aboard. It is exciting, yet nerve-racking to know I will be spending an entire semester away from a place I have grown to feel so comfortable in. On top of that, I must decide where I want to go! Barcelona? Prague? Australia? The nerves set in as I debate which place is right for me. I am nervous to be so far from my family and friends, but I know an unbelievable adventure awaits me. Change can be scary but, as i’ve learned from my time in college, it can also bring about new friends, experiences, and memories and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.
Going into Senior Year….
I remember sitting in the car with my parents a few days before the start of freshman year, with a knot in my stomach that was becoming more and more persistent as the time to move in drew closer. My mom, sensing my anxiety told me not to worry, that college was going to fly by. Even then, amidst my nerves, I knew I didn’t want that. And yet, despite my greatest efforts to push it away, the future came anyway and I am now entering my senior year. The fear that I once held as an unknowing Freshman has now transformed into the fear of an unknowing, kind of, sort of, adult (?). The fear of making friends and being liked, is now the fear of being qualified enough and getting a job before it’s time to graduate. But the biggest fear of all, is that of leaving the very same place that caused that big knot in my stomach just a few years ago. But what used to be so scary to me was that I was about to face something I did not know, and could not control. Now, having done that time and time again throughout my years at school I know that to the contrary, there is no point in fearing that which you cannot control because it is going to happen regardless of your fear. And so although I am sad about leaving the place I will have called home for 4 years, I know that even though the future is unknown, the unknown can be an exciting place filled with amazing new people and endless possibilities. (And really, truly, hopefully, a job...Let me know if you know of anyone looking to hire!)
So what’s the point? Whatever you are feeling now, that pit in your stomach, that nightmare that keeps replaying in your head, will go away. And when all's said and done, was any of it really that bad? Meeting new people, picking a place to travel for four months, heading into the real world, and discovering who you truly are? Because in the end, the same places we fear going can end up being the place we most fear leaving.