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It’s Ok Not to Fit the “Four Year” College Mold

In every single coming of age movie that is filled with indie music and revolves around a girl getting a fresh start during her first year at university I am always confused. The perfect dorm room experience, being able to go to the most expensive out of state school to escape their parents, not having a job? Now, I totally understand that the whole point of Hollywood is to glamourize life and make everything feel more special than it is. But I feel like pop culture has made it a normal thing that the “college experience” is a one size fits all mold. When in reality college is not at all that. 

First off, many people don’t actually attend a university for four years, even though many campuses market that as the timeline. Many kids bring in credits from PSEO or AP classes and are able to shave off a semester or year because of that. Other students might take more credits each year in hopes to graduate early. As well as on the other side of things, some students may take more than four years to graduate from a university. Transferring from another school and having to retake some classes or having to take a year off because of a family emergency/mental health. There is no timeline to how long you can or must be in college before you can graduate. 

Next is the whole idea of dorms. Dorm life is expensive. Some students choose not to live in the dorms to save money while others know that they would not enjoy it in the first place. Personally, I never lived in a dorm because they are expensive, and I like to separate my school life from the rest of my identity. I don’t like the idea of eating, breathing and sleeping school. Which is ok, just like it is ok to choose to live in the dorms. I know many college students who love them! Things such as how much a college kid works or doesn’t work, and social life aspects are also easy topics to look at when thinking of the ideal “college experience”. But here is the secret to college. There is no secret, just how there is no mold and no right or wrong way to do it. If you feel empowered and are getting what you need to get done when you need it done, on top of taking care of yourself, you are doing it right. All that matters by the time you get to the podium for graduation is that you did it how you wanted to. So hey, join that club, reach out to a friend to go get coffee, pull a few all-nighters to study, go to that concert, get that internship! We are all figuring out life as it goes. It’s ok to just enjoy the ride and not take everything super serious. 

Sincerely, a college kid who has no idea what is going on.

All you need is some coffee, music and your dog. Marketing major at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
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