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All That Glitters Isn’t Gold… Including College

We’ve all seen it before: The cool college scenes in movies and television shows, not to mention the endless reel of social media posts highlighting the best “main character moments” in people’s lives. Whether its raging house parties, the best Greek life, or having a perfect friend group, it’s easy to feel the need to have the perfect and typical college experience. It’s supposed to be the “best four years of your life,” but college isn’t like that for everyone, and it doesn’t need to be. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are many people that live and love the typical college lifestyle: Greek life, fun parties and a picture-perfect friend group. There is nothing wrong with embracing that, but it all just depends on what’s best for you, and what’s best for you might be completely different than your friends or even what you expected. 

Everyone has different personalities and interests, and the best way to make college worth it is to embrace them and find your happiness instead of searching to fulfill the idea of “happiness” created by society. Whether you love working out and playing club sports or writing for the school newspaper and interning at a local radio station, there is something for everyone, especially here at the University of Alabama.  

College is a unique time in your life where you are encouraged to branch out to new things, find new passions, and throw yourself out of your comfort zone. You have to be uncomfortable to grow and change for the better, and you never know what you are going to find when it happens. Not to be cliché and sappy, but the best things in life come from the most unexpected places at the most unexpected times. 

The “best four years of your life” might be college. Yet, those four years might look completely different from everyone else’s. Maybe you loved working at a beloved restaurant in your college town or leading a student-run service organization on campus or even filled your time with double majors and internships galore.   

Social media paints the pretty picture, and movies and television show society’s version of the highlight reels of college. But that’s just it, it’s the highlights, the best of the best footage they want you to see. It’s okay to struggle and feel out of place. It’s okay to feel a little lost while you’re finding your footing and place in college. Being yourself and pursuing what makes you happy is how you can make it “the best four years of your life.”  

Ashley is a sophomore from Virginia Beach, Virginia, double majoring in Business and News Media with plans to attend law school. She is also highly active in the University of Alabama Dance Marathon, currently serving as Director of Public Relations. In her free time, she loves making very specific Spotify playlists, going on many Starbucks runs, traveling and rewatching her favorite shows: Gilmore Girls, Grey's Anatomy, and The Challenge.
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