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Embracing change and personal growth in college

09/21/2010
By:

Jessica Giannone

Staff Writer

At about the time you get to college, you think you know quite a lot about life. People may have preached that high school is over, and the time to grow up started the minute you graduated. However, college is only the start of maturity (were not quite grown up yet)! With every new beginning comes new goals, new knowledge, and even more questions.

It is inevitable that arriving into a new atmosphere will have an effect on you. Whether it’s your attitude, style, values, or even beliefs, change is always taking place. College is usually the time when people make drastic shifts within themselves. The drop-out makes the Dean’s list; the valedictorian becomes the partier; the shy guy turns into the class clown. All we know is that college is the time where your morals are tested; extremely.

We’ve all heard the stories that “virgins finally let loose,” or “good kids start experimenting with drugs.” When you start college, you are forced to hang around with a new crowd, where everything you witness impacts your judgment. If you start observing certain actions and conclude that the outcomes are ok, you may say to yourself, “Heck, why not?” We try new things we’ve never tried before because we’re around people we’ve never been around before; thousands of people.

In a place where everyone around you is busy questioning and testing out their period in life, it’s easy to do just the same.

You may decide that you no longer want to go out and party every night and prefer to get serious and focus on your studies. Or, it could be just the opposite! Many people finally announce their sexuality, or realize they want to become an engineer instead of a doctor. Every now and then you get the kid who branches out, or the tough kid who runs back home to his mommy. Either way, your reaction to a new lifestyle is in effect.

I know quite a few people who have been so dependent on their parents growing up that by the time they got to college, they seemed helpless. They were no longer able to rely on their parents for money, food, transportation and guidance. When these people first moved in, any person who saw them would have assumed they were never going to make it on their own (or even want to).

It has been about two years since then, and some of those same people are now financially responsible juggling everyday problems with ease. Of course, they still have the support they want from their parents, but they would cope just fine without it. When you are away from home, you not only have new-found independence, but new opportunities.

Nonetheless, with new chances, come new desires.

Imagine the class “pimp” in high school; the boy who played all the girls. I happen to remember one boy like that from my graduating class. He went through girls like a baby goes through diapers. Needless to say, he has now been in a two-year relationship since college started. To even look at another girl would be unimaginable. It is surprising what college can do to you.

I’m sure many people have heard the excuse, “I was in college.” That infamous expression speaks for itself. Many people consider this phase in life as that little exception to the days they acted like alcoholics, or the mornings they faced the “walk of shame,” or simply the nights they cringe about when they recall them. No matter what the occurrences may be, they are sure to be memorable (and justifiable).

The college experience is so broad that one cannot name all of the possibilities that can happen.

Students come and go and the more they go through, the more they learn, thus, the more they can wonder.

Whether you are dealing with moral changes, and face dilemmas that require great inner questioning, or are dealing with simple changes like your taste in food, this is the time to embrace your growth. There will be questions, answers and more questions.

You are always going to be changing throughout life, but you are only going to be starting the “beginning of your life” once.

So if your father ever happens to mention to you he was part of the “streaker’s club,” you know when to assume that was.

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