Submitted by Melody B.

Going into college, my excitement was minimal. I wasn’t excited for college, not because I loved high school or I dreaded adulthood, but because it all just felt like the natural progression of things. I was just indifferent. I wanted to go to college, but I also didn’t care particularly about going college. I wasn’t excited about the socializing or the classes. I just felt like college was just another step I had to climb until I could get to “real life”. In a way I was right. However, my perspective now is that “real life” starts whenever. In college, you can easily live in a bubble — a sorority bubble, a work bubble, a class-only bubble, etc., but you have the power to pop that bubble whenever you want. Why box yourself in and say you can’t do something or have the experience you want for no other reason than “it’s not your turn yet” College is exciting and college should be a place for new experiences and a time for personal growth! College doesn’t half to be the halfway house on the way to real life.” College doesn’t have to be the best time of your life– just make it something. Your time, and your real life begins whenever you want it to. Whenever you step up for what you want or what you believe; every time you move towards your goals and are motivated by yourself; whenever you realize that every decision you make is your decision, that your wants matter, that there are virtually no “have-to’s” in your world– your “real life” begins there. It’s all relative, so make sure that your thoughts and feelings are really your own. Make your time here matter, or you’ll never get another opportunity to learn how. Call it risk minimization, or regret optimization, or YOLO, or self-discovery– by any name, it is just making the best decision you can make, by and for yourself.