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Just a month ago, I was sitting with my best friends, watching some cheesy movie and talking about how different life was going to be in college. We were all scared and excited about being apart for the first time in four years, and I wondered how I would survive without them. The day before I left, I had a parting group hug (that lasted for a minimum of ten minutes) with them as we all proclaimed love for each other, and in that moment I realized just how much I really did love them all.

I drove six hours with my family the next morning and moved all my stuff into my room. The whole time they were with me, I was dreading the moment that they’d leave me. I was nervous about having to make new friends for the first time in years. But when they left, the first thing I noticed about college was that it really didn’t feel like college.

It didn’t seem like the idea that my friends and I all had; at first it just felt like summer camp. There were so many events and so many new people everywhere and I struggled to remember the names of everyone. I met some people that I knew I would talk to regularly and others that I don’t think I will ever talk to again.

After orientation week, things calmed down a bit and it felt less like summer camp and more like real life. As per my sister’s advice, I signed up to be on the mailing list of every club that looked remotely interesting, and then narrowed them down to things I actually want to join and commit to. I’ve made some friends on my floor and some in my classes, and things don’t seem so crazy now.

But it does feel super different from the last 18 years of my life. I’ve felt busier than ever these past few weeks, but not because I’m doing work or anything, just because there’s so much to do. There’s always something happening on campus, or something that I want to do off campus. There are so many events and it’s almost impossible to not miss something I want to do for something else that I am interested in. There’s also so much freedom and I feel more independent and willing to explore the area and all that it has.

College is different from my expectations, but I guess this is what college really is. Its full of talented people to meet and activities to do and places to explore, and I’m super hyped to spend the next four years doing exactly those things.

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