Graduation is right around the corner for many high school seniors across the US, but what comes next? For many, the next step is a great one: college!
There are a ton of great things about college: freedom and independence, making life long friends, hopefully a beautiful campus, and of course a great education. But how do you make the most of your four years? By stepping out of your comfort zone, and here’s why college is the best place to do so.
1. No one knows you here.
In high school you probably had a clique, and people probabaly judged you based off of it. But whether you liked your place in high school or not, college is completely different. You walk in on the first day with no predispositions. You can present your best foot forward, without having anyone judge you based on your past high school experiences. It’s a great time to make yourself someone new.
2. You’re growing up.
You’re no longer a high schooler. At 18 you’re *technically* and adult (although you still have a lot to learn). But the things you’ve always liked might not be your cup of tea anymore. You should use this time to expand your horizons and try new things. College is a time to discover your passions as opposed to your hobbies. Which leads to…
3. There are a million clubs/sports/organizations on campus.
Your college will probably have a club fair during the first few weeks of school, so you don’t even have to do any research. It’s as easy as showing up. If you don’t know what you want to do, sign up for a few things. Try something new. And this way, even if you’re shy, you can find a group of like-minded individuals and hopefully make friends by bonding over something you love.
4. College gives you access to life-changing experiences.
There’s more to college than just going to classes. And while learning is obviously a key ingredient to your college life, there are a ton of other experiences that go hand-in-hand, and you could never do anywhere else. Like joining greek life, which is a great way to create a family for life. Or studying abroad, which opens huge doors to the world and shows you something you’ve never seen before. Without stepping out of your comfort zone, you might miss out on these things.
5. College is a stepping stone for real life.
You’ll learn a lot more than calculus and geology. You’ll learn life skills. How do you interact with people you don’t know? How do you network? These are things you’ll need when you graduate, and even though that seems like a lifetime away for incoming freshman, facing your fears and accepting the uncomfortable situations will help you when you finally face the real world (and college is a much more forgiving environment, so if you mess up, it’s okay).
6. You can try a little of everything if you start early.
For those who have no idea what direction they want their lives to go, college is a perfect time to try on as many different hats as possible. Take a dance or improv class. Try your hand at law or business. You shouldn’t limit yourself to one path this early in life, because as you grow, your life is bound to change. By trying classes you might never have considered before, you’ll learn a lot about yourself (and will be able to cross potential majors off the list, which makes life a lot easier when it comes time to declare).
7. College is the “best four years of your life.”
According to some. And while that’s probably not completely true, it is an amazing time. You don’t want to look back and realize you missed out on experiences. Letting fear of doing something different–or worse, fear of failing at something–stop you from reaching your full potential is a waste of your youth. This is the time that it’s ok not to be sure what you want. But you shouldn’t let indecisiveness limit you; instead, let your inability to choose help you and choose everything.
[Featured Image Credit: hwsschools.net]