The Stages of College

Looking back on my past four years it seems that every year has brought something different to my life. It may not seem it in your day to day life, but honestly everyone changes and grows up more than they have even noticed. I hadn’t really hit me how far I have come in life until I became a senior. The end of senior year calls for a time for reflection. Here, I will explain what each year of college has taught me.

FRESHMAN YEAR: This is the first time you need to figure out your own schedule. What works better for you, morning or night classes. I began to realize what it meant to be financially smart, because it felt awful calling my parents weekly for money. Freshman year taught me to end the high school judgmental crap, because in college (especially at Plymouth State) you need to have an open mind, or no one will like you. It teaches you to build trust in people, as you are just meeting the people who will be your family for the next four years. I also learned it is okay to ask for help when you need it, but when you really learn is when you are stuck learning to figure something out by yourself.

SOPHOMORE YEAR: Sophomore year I realized you will undoubtedly think some of the wrong people are the people you want to be friends with during your freshman year. You will get a stronger sense of what is really important to you, and you actually start thinking about what you might want to do after college, and how you will reach those goals. You begin looking to your teaches for advice, on all different levels. They are not your high school teachers, they sort of become friends to you. And surprisingly, these relationships make a bigger impact on your life than you expected. Some gen-eds, actually open your eyes up to other aspects of the world your major does not pay attention to. You begin to realize who your REAL friends from high school are.

JUNIOR YEAR: Over anything else, Junior year showed me what my strengths and weaknesses are (especially in my major). It opened my eyes to what I should stay away from in a career path, and what I should work towards more. You realize this is the year you need to work harder than you ever have, because it is the make it or break it year. You start to look at your resume, and you realize you need to work harder because other people are surpassing you. For me personally however, it was the time I realized that everything will work out the way it is supposed to. If I keep working hard enough, I will get what I deserve. It is the time you realize the impact you have made on some of your friends, and the impact they’ve made on you. This is the first time I had my own apartment, and I had to take more responsibility than I ever had. I learned to cook, and realized what my cleaning patterns really were and how it will effect me in the long run.

SENIOR YEAR: You realize how much you’ve changed. You realize how much you learned about yourself, and you become the best person you can truly be. You learn who your REAL friends are, and where you belong because this is who you want to spend the most time with before you part ways. You realize you don’t need to drink everyday, instead of trying to impress people with going out; you impress people with your school work. You learn the time flies, and you should never take anything for granted. Take everything as an experience. I realized that even with a job offer, your not sure exactly what we are going to do with the rest of our lives, but now we are getting thrown in the world to figure it out. I realized I am prepared. I realize how thankful I am for my education, my friends, and all the opportunities presented to me.

College has changed my life completely. If I hadn’t gone to college, there is no doubt in my mind I would be a completely different person than I am right now. Not only was it the best time of my life, but offered me the most valuable life lessons on such an individual basis. Each year of college brought new experiences that I will cherish and carry with me forever.


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