I believe for many college freshmen we imagine what college will be like and how college will change. What school will I go to? Who will my roommate be? What will I major in?
These casual questions will cross your mind in your early teens, but before you know it, it’s the senior year of high school and these questions are soon very serious. The last couple months before your high school graduation, plans are finalized, and it seems the next chapter of your life is set.
One morning, you wake up and it’s college move in day and just about every emotion is going through your head. Your car is packed with memories, telling stories from before kindergarten to that brand new $200 textbook you will probably never open.
You check in and move into a new dorm room with most likely a complete stranger who you will live with for at least the next nine months. Mom and dad help you unpack and get the last details ironed out and give you one last hug, then they hop in the car and drive to the house that is no longer your home.
It seems that those first days just become a blur. There are so many meetings, and you are meeting so many new people.
The day you get dropped off, the world becomes yours. You choose your life course. Will you become a lawyer in a law firm in New York City or a school teacher in small town Idaho? No one is going to tell you to go to bed early because sleep is more important than you realize. No one is going to remind you about the chemistry test next week. In a way, it’s really you against the world, but that’s what makes it so exciting.
Instead of your friends living across town, they suddenly live in the same room with you or right next door. If you and your friends are feeling spontaneous, go to Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. just because you can. You can join a club that is completely outside your comfort zone and meet students from around the world.
You move into college with an entire blank page; nobody knows who you are and they don’t care about your past. Embrace the blank page.
There will be good days and bad days. There will be the days where you would rather walk through the front door of your childhood house to a home-cooked meal rather than your residence hall. There will be days where you call your mom and suddenly are calling your new college town home without even meaning to.
The day you got dropped off, everything you once knew changes. It’s the day the world becomes both so big and so small. I encourage you to embrace this new life and make the most of it.