The transition from high school to college is stereotyped with the necessity to grow up, get one’s life in order, and approach the final stages of finding oneself. Academics are expected to be a lot more challenging, so people expect their lives to become more tedious and less exciting. While some of this is true, I have found my transition experience to be far different from what I initially expected.
The root of the college experience is found in the independence factor. How will one fare on their own? Everyone will use independence for their own benefit, whether it is disregarding the moral instruction instilled in them from childhood, or taking bits and pieces of said instruction and approaching life prudently. Coming from a home where I was instructed in a certain way, but not held on a tight leash, I know what may take place under both scenarios, so I applied my life’s lessons the best I could and found myself doing pretty well. In my first semester of college, I received a 4.0 GPA, I was involved with a dance team, I often recited poetry at open mic events on and off campus, and I found a nice network of friends through my involvement with a church and my extracurricular activities.
It is said that there is a triangle of elements once entering college: Academics, Social life, and Sleep, and we must sacrifice one, leaving us to soar high in two. In my first year of college, I found myself rotating this triangle time and time again: sacrificing sleep to spend time with friends, sacrificing time with friends to study for an quiz, deciding whether or not more studying or more sleep would be more beneficial to me for the next day’s exam. I found myself in more of a hexagonal dilemma, balancing the latter three with fitness, time with God, and my personal hobbies. Like with all dilemmas, there is a painful solution, and I learned that growing up for me meant sacrificing some things in order for other things to flourish, so I gained twenty pounds, combined social time and hobbies by performing on campus, and sacrificed much sleep for extra time to study.
From this, college may sound like the worst thing ever, having to decide between things we love so that we can express love for some of these things more efficiently. With two semesters worth of college experience, I would like to say, however, that every moment offers a lesson, and with new lessons come new challenges and obstacles. But I will be one of many to say that growing up is learning to love a challenge, and loving a challenge is what allowed me to break through obstacles and pave a new path for the multi-faceted, fun-loving, wisdom-crazed student. From experience, I can tell you that making quality friends, getting an A average, making up for lost sleep on the weekends, expressing oneself artistically, staying somewhat in shape, and continuing to grow closer to a loving God is all possible.
Ultimately, the transition into college is what you make of it. On the outside looking in, I have seen what was made of questionable choices and peer-pressured decisions. What I made of my transition is something that I can look back on and be proud of. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. So, how will you respond?