The 411 on College

College, the best four years of your life, right? Let’s be honest here, it is the best years of our lives, but also some of the most stressful and trying years of our lives. We’re on the brink of adulthood: we’re 18, just graduated high school, and we are given the chance to move away from home and live on our own. The possibilities and opportunities seem endless and within our grasp. We grew up with this preconceived idea of college being one big sleepover party with all your new friends. Whether it was American Pie, The Graduate, or Neighbors, pop culture aided in the formation of this perception. Fortunately, or unfortunately, college is not exactly what the movies made it out to be.

College Friendships

There is no way you can’t make friends in college. You move in and live with a complete stranger, how are you not going to become friends with them? Living with someone is the best way to get to know them. Everything about that person and their habits come out on full display when confined to a small space with them. It is a great icebreaker and you do (usually) come out with a life-long best friend in the end. However, just because it’s impossible to not make friends, whether it be roommates or classmates, it does often take some time. We’re in a new environment and we don’t know anyone, of course, it’s natural to be a little shy or reserved. On top of being in a completely new and different environment, making friends is hard. With high school, we have our groups of friends and people we’ve known since kindergarten. College though throws people from all over the world into a consolidated space and calls it a day. Making friends is one thing we didn’t learn in school. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t make friends right away, especially if you live off-campus. We often see on social media and in movies how freshmen are somehow able to make friends with anyone instantly. The one element glossed over is we are all apprehensive and it takes a hot minute to get to know people. Thankfully, the result is always worth it as college friends are some of the best friends you will ever have.

Physical Health

We all know about the “Freshman 15,” but we tend to forget about something that affects every single student. Colds, the flu, and basically any illness imaginable. No matter how many precautions you take, getting sick is inevitable. We always hear about the good times and all the parties college students go to, but in reality, we’re just trying to not get sick. Being sick is never fun, but being sick away from your mom or comfy bed at home? The absolute worst. I don’t know the reason why, but moms and dads are the best at comforting you and taking care of you when you are sick. In college, you have yourself and your roommate if they aren’t a germaphobe. Not to mention you usually drag yourself to class because it's too expensive to skip class and you’ll feel bad for doing so. We’re young and in our prime, but we are also sick of being sick and tired of the dining hall food.

Academics

By now, you’ve probably seen memes or tweets about how stressful the academic side of college is and how much students stress over exams. On behalf of every college student ever, that is 100% accurate. We run off iced coffee and minimal sleep, we stay up late studying and doing homework pretty much every night. The popular term, “crackhead hours” are achieved nightly. Don’t start getting worried about the academic side however, college classes are some of the best. Compared to high school, college classes and professors are pretty chill. All the tweets or videos you’ve seen of funny college professors is another true aspect and should something to look forward to. Despite our jokes about dropping out or getting hit by the campus bus, most students love what they are majoring in and enjoy the process of learning.

So, is college worth it? 100% yes. There are so many life lessons to be learned and so many new people to meet and get to know. Whether you are a high schooler senior looking into colleges or a current college student, the main thing to remember is to not let life and stress bring you down. College is hard there’s no doubt about that but getting that degree and making all those memories is worth it. College is just a basket full of opportunities. Join some clubs (Her Campus CWU *wink, wink*), try a sport or a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, get to know your professors, attend campus activities, or start working towards an internship. You are a young, strong, independent individual that deserves everything you’ve worked towards! College is the perfect starting place for your career, no matter what you want to do. All of us are on the cusp of greatness!