At first, moving out and living alone in college for the first time was incredibly scary to me. Out of the 3 months I have been away from home and living sort of on my own, I’ve come to realize how important college is to me. I have gotten to experience so many different opportunities, meet a plethora of diverse people, and find a community both in and out of school that I fit into. But first, I want to start by acknowledging the wonderful opportunity I have of going to college in the first place. Second, I want to thank my parents for everything they have done for me and taught me which has gotten me to where I am now. Without them, who knows where I’d be! Lastly, I want to just acknowledge the wonderful school I am able to attend knowing that they make me feel like I belong and will help me in any possible way.
With that being said, let us get to the point. College IS IMPORTANT! I am not opposing or shaming others who do not go this route, but if you are contemplating whether college is worth it, please take my word. I personally believe and have come to experience that college is a chance for you to blossom into who you are supposed to be. This includes finding new hobbies you have never tried before, traveling to near and far places, eating the food you want to, and creating a routine that fits your standards and time. College also expands your knowledge and view of the world in so many ways! Take a wide range of electives, core requirements, and specialized classes (for your major or minor) to increase your knowledge of the world around you. This world also contains amazing people who can help you become the best you can be. There are many new friendships formed that turn into a support system and a second family. College is your home away from home, especially if you live on campus. Experience the freedom you can get by simply taking care of yourself and the area that you live in. In my opinion, it is pretty cool to do. Do not be afraid to ask for help though, even if it is from your parents!
Also, do not rush your college experience. You are only in college once in your life, and then BOOM… adulthood. Take that gap year to give yourself a break, enroll in that study abroad program, or even go to graduate school! There are an immense amount of opportunities that college has to offer as well as outside sources. But first, take advantage of those readily available and offered to you. Also, pace yourself and make sure that you do not pile so much upon yourself. Trust me, it is hard and I tend to do this from time to time.
You are going to make mistakes in college, though, because that is just how life goes. You are also going to make decisions that others might not agree with and that is something you cannot control. However, that does not mean that you should not take other people’s advice into consideration. It is entirely up to you at the end of the day, and that requires some agency and intuition on your end to make or learn from your mistakes.
But WAIT- college is SUPER expensive…. Is it not? Yes, you are right and that is totally okay! There are so many resources that have never been available to us until now to help us for college. Whether it be financial aid, grants or loans, scholarships, junior colleges, etc. There will always be a way to gain a college education despite the price tag. A family member once told me that college expenses are not going to go away and that’s okay. It might seem like a lot of money now, but it is so worth it.
If college is not for you, that is okay too! However, college is important and it is shaping me into the person I will be in the future. College has taught me to become independent, resourceful, cautious of my surroundings, more socially skilled, and more knowledgeable. It has also helped me open up new interests or further studies in the career field of my choice. These are some things that I would have never thought of or known about.
College is my time to be myself, live my life, and face my fears one step at a time. That could be the same for you too! Do not disregard the opportunity you are able to have just because you are a college student or just because it is hard. Things are going to be hard in life because you have to work someday along with so many other responsibilities. But the memories, experiences, and knowledge that you obtain in college are going to be the most defining and framing things you do to become the you that you strive to be. They are so incredibly important because college is important. And so are you, and the story that you choose to write.