If you don’t want to go to college I know it’s probably because you’re scared. Maybe you hate school and don’t want to keep going. Maybe you don’t want to leave your high school friends behind because you think no one can replace them. Maybe you think it’s a waste of time. Maybe you just don’t think it will be beneficial to you; but I want to tell you none of those things are true.
I wasn’t itching to get out of high school to go to college, but I knew I had to go. I knew that it was the next step of my life after high school. I cried and cried and cried. I didn’t want to leave my friends from high school behind; I didn’t want to leave my hometown or the life I thought I had created. I didn’t want to move to a new place and make new friends because I figured they wouldn’t compare to anyone I knew.
I thought going to college was going to be awful, but I was so wrong. The only thing that was awful was my first semester because I held on so tightly to home that I didn’t give college a chance. I thought about coming home, just going to a community college in the next town over so I could live at home and be with my friends. But my parents didn’t let me, thankfully.
After I came home for winter break the first semester, I realized it was me who was making college miserable because fast-forward to now I just graduated college and I wouldn’t trade a single thing about it, expect having more time with my friends.
Walking across that stage was gut-wrenching, I felt nerves running through my body. Nervous I might trip, but also nervous because I knew this was the end of it. The end of everything I’ve come to know and love so much. Now I was scared again. Scared of the fact that I had to move on and say goodbye. Scared that this was yet another ending of a chapter that has been so important to me. Scared of what the future will hold.
This time was different though, while there were still lots and lots of tears there was also hope. A hope that I didn’t have after high school before college because now I knew that this wasn’t as good as it’s going to get. I knew that I still have plenty of good left ahead of me. I knew that I was still going to have these friends the rest of my life because college friends are different. They are the people who have seen you at your best and your absolute worst. They’ve seen you when you’ve got a massive hangover after a rough night, they’ve seen you freaking out about a test you think you’re going to fail and they’ve grown to love you for that and everything in between.
I won’t tell you the work isn’t difficult, because it will be, but it’s worth it. The experiences you will gain out of college are incredible and important. They shape you into who you are and lead you to learn there is so much more that life can offer you and the places that college can lead you are endless.
You learn so much more in college than what is presented to you in class. You’ll always learn more than the notes you take or the text books you’re supposed to read because reality is you won’t remember what you got on that test you stayed up all night studying for, but you’ll remember the night you went out and sang karaoke with your friends. You’ll learn how to love and be loved; you’ll learn the importance of friendship and how to deal with things on your own. You’ll learn what to do when your dad can’t come to the rescue and help you because he’s hours away. You’ll learn how to cook your own food when your mom can’t do it for you. You’ll learn life skills and you’ll be thankful for them.
Don’t skip out on college because you’re scared of what you might be leaving behind. Don’t think right now you’ve had the best days of your life because your best days have yet to come. Cherish the memories, but be open to new ones and new experiences. Apply for financial aid and start saving your money while you can, and go to college. Experience one of the best times of your life and don’t hold back. College might be over for me but the memories and friendships I’ve made will be with me forever.