Hi everyone, let’s talk college. I started college in September 2017, when I was almost 19 years old and I can honestly say it changed my life drastically, as it does for so many others. It is known that college requires a much larger net of responsibilities, still, I do believe people have loads of wrong ideas about what it’s actually all about. I can tell you I was completely terrified and I think many people my age get the idea that college is this big scary place where you learn about really difficult things and do tests all the time and everything about it is bad. It really isn’t. Everyone has their own experience regarding college, and this is my own.

• The Bad
When I first started, I failed to attend the first two days of classes. I was incredibly nervous and scared and felt extremely intimidated by everyone. As many others, I had the thought that college was too much and that I wasn’t going to get anywhere because I wasn’t ‘college material’. I was self-conscious about every single thing, from my clothes to my way of wording things. I didn’t know anything about the academic life, nor was I going to ask. I had never been good at talking to people which made normal relations sound impossible. At that point, and because I had to start catching the bus everyday, even the short rides seemed long and I learnt to dread them. For the first month I had decided to stick by myself, not that I had any other choice. I couldn’t get myself to talk to anyone, and I started to isolate myself. I call those ‘the silent days’. Because I couldn’t talk to people, I found myself confined to my own silence.

Being in college meant that I had to dedicate most of my time to studying. This took away a lot of time that I had with my family and my friends. As the days went by I started to feel much more isolated, and as alone as I was, I still didn’t have the time to take care of myself. Whenever I did have the time, I felt quite tired and would take naps, but they weren’t enough. It seemed as though I had lost all my connections, as well as my motivation, in favor of my education.

• The Good
At the end of the first month, I made my first friend. Our friendship grew quite naturally, and luckily, we even had all the same classes. I wasn’t so alone anymore and I was incredibly grateful for that. After a while, I made two more friends and I slowly started to become a little more confident because I knew they had my back. We had many classes together so I didn’t have to sit alone anymore. Even if we had to stay quiet, it was quite the relief to know that I had people who cared for me right there. I was no longer having lunch by myself, I didn’t dread long breaks anymore. I had people to laugh with, share memories with, talk about my issues with. And they were so incredibly receptive.
After this, I started to organize my time a little more. It was hard for a while, but in the end I managed to find the time to do things that made me happy, including going out with my 3 best friends whom I had missed a lot in the past few months.
The 2nd semester just recently started and I’m looking forward to what college will bring. It’s true that my experience wasn’t so good at first, and sometimes it still sucks, but I managed to get around, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity I was given, for the friendships I made and for the whole experience, because it taught me a lot.

Truth is, change is scary, I can’t deny that. But there’s really no harm in taking a chance. And even if you don’t, just remember that you should do what makes you happy. People don’t say this a lot, but you’re not obligated to go to college. It doesn’t mean you won’t have a bright future, or that you’re not smart. Go with your heart, you’re in control of your own life.