Written By: Roxana Becerril
When the topic of college is brought up, most high school students are quick to change the subject in hopes of dodging stressful conversations about majors, classes, expectations and requirements. The negative connotation associated with the word “college” refers to the stressful transition one goes through from adolescence to adulthood and is partially responsible for the lack of enthusiasm one experiences when talking about universities. Due to the massive grey cloud of stress one is placed under when going through the process of deciding which college to go to, one fails to acknowledge the gifts and opportunities college has to offer to each one of its students.
Most high school students are bombarded by nostalgia once they reach the end of their senior year, and they may feel like college will only tear them away from the glorious days they spent as teenagers free of stress and adult responsibilities. Only to realize months later that college is a magnificent stepping stone for opportunities of greater enjoyment that’s actually masked with the illusion of being a dark and demanding place. Only after a semester after going to college will they realize that attending a university might have been the best learning and rewarding experience they have ever engaged in.
People are often intimidated by the thought of college due to the differences between it and high school. In high school, classrooms were occupied by a maximum of thirty students, whereas a college setting is typically occupied by a body of 200 students. Is it scary to walk into a classroom where you are surrounded by 200 individuals you have possibly never met before? Yes, at least for the first week. But then you start conversing with Laura who sits next to you in Monday’s class about the absurdity of the Hawaiian shirt that the professor always wears even if it is winter, or Enrique who introduces you to the young filmmakers club on campus. You slowly start to realize that you’re not placed in that classroom to drown in the sea of 200 people, but instead to navigate the trembling waters one stroke at a time. You meet extraordinary people with each class you attend that can potentially become one of your greatest friends.
In high school, it feels like you’re most comfortable with your surroundings and the cozy environment you have found yourself in for the last four years of your life, and it is understandable if you feel like you’re going to be lost in this huge jungle without a compass to help you find your way to the nearest sheltered place. But in reality, this huge jungle you are so afraid of at first is actually there to act as your massive playground. A playground that is decorated with a Starbucks coffee shop, student lounges, a gorgeous library, and classrooms. With time you will come to appreciate the beauty of this jungle’s vastness and numerous buildings.
To sum it up, every ending is just a new beginning. High school will eventually come to an end, but hopefully your desire to expand your education won’t. In college, you will embark on a journey to achieving a degree in the profession of your choice, while simultaneously encountering things you are not familiar with. It’s always important to remember that great things don’t come from comfort zones. And although the relationship with your comfort zone you developed with high school must come to an end, a new and more profound connection with college will be born. New friends, new spaces, and new opportunities are just the beginning of it. Student organizations, student events, food courts, huge libraries, interesting classes and unforgettable experiences are just a few of the things college has to offer. Not only will you extend your education by attending college, but you will flourish into the best version of yourself after meeting new people, being exposed to different ideas, learning new things, and finally, obtaining a degree in a profession you are truly passionate about.