Pakelody Cheam aspires to work with the UN one day, but is currently working towards a Public Relations and Global Studies major at Hofstra University in New York. Her love of travel and nature has led her through cross country road trips, and fueled much of her inspiration for her writing. As a freshman in college, she’s already been involved in major social movements in both New York City and Washington D.C., and she plans on continuing her pursuit of world issue solutions.
Freshman year in college is known to be one of the most difficult transitions of one’s lifetime. And sometimes, when things get scary, people gravitate back towards what is familiar. In this case, it’s high school relationships.
Yes, we all leave high school graduation believing we’re going to stay friends with those we’d spent the last four years with. There’s a good chance you’ll still keep those friends; however, you may become distant from them –and for good reason.
New places means new people. College is bustling with people –whether you go to a public state school or a private university. Even the most introverted character will find a niche. However, the only way to actually make the most out of college is to actually be there –physically and mentally.
If you stay in your room the entire semester Facetiming your high school boyfriend, you won’t be gaining what all can be gained. It’s a cliché that college is a freedom land where you can roam where you wish, but it’s true. Nevertheless, it won’t feel that way if you stay confined to your dorm.
If you’re constantly on the phone with old friends from home, there will be no chance for you to approach or for people to approach you. Someone could be really interested in the stickers on your laptop, but they won’t interrupt your phone conversation.
Even if you’re not pining for the things left behind physically, you should make a conscientious effort to reap the rewards of college. Like I said, it’s a freedom land, but it can’t be until you realize it.
We’ve all heard that college is the best years of your life. This may be true, but what’s more true is that college is what you make of it. Actively engaging in on-campus and off-campus activities are reasons why college changes lives. Experience creates change, intentionally or unintentionally.
Join clubs, go to the fitness center, have dinner in one of the dining halls. Immerse yourself in the resources your college offers.
There might be something in the back of your mind, pulling you back from engaging in all the activities. Guilt, for not answering a friend from home’s text, or dropping out of the old group message. Or even loneliness, since there are always people back home to fall on.
Don’t let negative feelings stop you from fully embracing college. Yes, you may drift apart from old friends, but that’s what college consist of: everything new.
No one has to completely start their lives over and burn all bridges with people from high school. There are ways to stay in contact without ignoring your present college life.
Keep calls limited to once a month, or even once every other week, if you need to start out that way. It’s all in moderation, if you’re used to seeing your friends from high school every day.
Be excited to go back home for breaks, but be excited about being in college. It’s a privilege, with opportunities you won’t find elsewhere. Grab it and run with it.
Like I, and everyone says, college is what you make of it. If you cling to the past too tightly, that’s all there will be.