Growing up as the youngest of the three siblings, I would always admire the independence my older sister had, how quickly she could come and go out of the house, leave and enjoy with her friends, and that is what made me look up to college years for as long as I can remember.
Starting college as a freshman will make you eager to be on your own, have your own independent life, without parents. Your freshman years will be in complete apprehension and with the fear of not making the kind of friends you had back in your high school. You are excited and naive; it is probably your first very experience of being far away from home for a longer period. Eating at the cafeteria has its good days and bad days, especially if you like to stay away from the ‘popular’ crowd. As a freshman being late for a class causes anxiety and panic attacks. All you care about is having a good impression and really study hard for your exams.
So be open to change. Nothing will be the same or remain the same as you start getting comfortable in your dorm life. Some changes will be good, some not so great, but you will need to constantly adjust your mindset.
As a freshman, you will talk to your high school friends greatly in the beginning of the year – pouring them with stories of a life on the highway and your interactions with all the new people. With time, you find yourself speaking to people from home far less frequently as before. You might find yourself in an awkward position too where you feel you are in another phase of your life, where people from your hometown and high school do not understand you anymore.
Moving towards sophomore year brings its own sense of maturity, as you will find yourself changing your room’s light bulb, and the realization of the importance of the basic amenities in life and how costly they are. You may even find yourself experimenting and trying new things like cooking as you start to crave for home food. Need not to say that sophomore years are any less carefree or not exciting with nights being spent out with friends.
Junior year is when you truly grow up with your twenty-first birthday. Pressure from studies increases and you no longer can afford nor want to stay out five nights in a row. You are now more than comfortable and are more in control as this is the place where you belong. Your circle of friends is much more than hardcore party people, and your friends are now your family. The joy of spending that quality time is more with your friends than in going out. You start taking life a little more seriously and see ahead the life that awaits you. Internships, apprenticeship, exchange programs and college clubs are what excite you more.
Community work, charities, working for a cause, standing for your rights is where your energies will be diverted. As you enter your final senior year, you will be amazed at not how many people you know, but how many people know and recognize you by name. You will enjoy visiting home for breaks, unlike your freshman and sophomore years. The only thing that will terrify you is time flying by faster than you could appreciate it, and leaving the new family that got you through thick and thin in these four years.
It’s always a mystery to reflect back as a senior and see yourself evolve from the freshman years to now, and only imagine the growth which you encountered in these four years which will continue to grow.