To Every College Bound Student Who is Scared

College was pitched as an entirely different world than high school. A better world, characterized by a wealth of independence and freedom, incomparable to the drab monotony of the last four years. While this constant reassurance regarding the stark differences between college and high school can be a comfort, because high school as a general rule really sucks, the idea of entering a collegiate environment completely unlike the past four years of your life can be very intimidating. Luckily, this projected image of college as a completely different universe is far more of an exaggeration than we are led to believe. Sure, college is different than high school in all the best ways, but in so many comforting ways, it is the same.

Somehow, even with over 30,000 people on campus, you will keep running into the three people who came here from your old school.  Proof that you never truly escape high school no matter how far you go. Even though your past and future classmates will likely steadfastly avoid eye contact or offer a socially obligated awkward wave, there is an inexplicable comfort in the knowledge that some things truly never change.

Before I got here, I pictured college classes as a terrifying unknown, a higher place of learning that I would never truly be prepared for. In reality, college classes don’t vary so much from high school classes. You will have bad teachers and good teachers, lectures to doze through and classes that are best spent at least pretending to attentively listen. Just as before, there will be classmates you want to yell at to stop raising their hand at every pause in the lesson, the only difference is there is likely more people plotting a revenge right along with you. 

You are going to fall into a group of supportive friends, but now they will be someone new, not the same kids you pushed off the monkey bars in third grade. You will find your niche despite the thousands of people trying to find theirs as well.  College becomes a home, just as high school was, without necessarily being located in your home town. Everything that was big and grand the first few weeks slowly becomes the new normal, as worn in and comfortable as high school ever was.

The easiest thing about the so called “best four years of your life” is that it doesn’t have to be entirely different from the last four. Safety can be found in all the things that stay the same and, as for all the things that change, there is a Taco Bell within walking distance of me now so I can’t really complain.