With a title like “College Forever” it probably sounds like I never wanted to leave college, right? Well, that’s true to some extent. At graduation, I felt like a preschool that clings to her mother’s leg. “NO MOM, NOT THE REAL WORLD! DON’T MAKE ME!” Yeah it wasn’t pretty.
But I also did the same thing GOING to college. I HATE change. I was all gung-ho about college and making new friends and decorating my room until I actually got into college. But then I had a few more months to get excited again. And I did a decent job. Buying new things? Awesome. Packing? No problem. The trip there? Wonderful…until we were about an hour away from my school. That is when I started regretting every decision I had ever made in my life up until that moment.
It gets better, right? No. It didn’t get better. I called my mom every day during orientation saying I wanted to transfer to the school I had sworn up and down I would never attend because of it’s proximity to my parent’s home and the amount of my graduating class that was going there. Outside of classes, I wasn’t involved in anything. I spent so much time talking to my home friends on AIM that I didn’t make any new friends. What was worse, my classes were MUCH harder than I expected them to be. For the first time in my life, there were kids that were…shhhh…smarter…than me in my classes. After the initial hysteria and threatening to transfer home, I started to seriously consider changing majors and transferring to a school that had better offerings for me.
Finally, in the winter, there was one night that started me on the path to liking my college of choice. A friend invited me over for a karaoke night. I barely knew the other people he had invited, but I had so much fun just hanging out and taking turns singing and singing as a group. It was the first time I can remember being happy at my school – five whole months after I had arrived! Later, I told my friend that it reminded me of the cast parties we used to have after the shows in high school. He asked why I wasn’t involved in the theater or music programs that our college offered. I didn’t even know that those things existed!
I finally had figured out what had been missing. I had been in some sort of music program from kindergarten until I graduated high school. As a senior looking into colleges, I didn’t think it was something that I would miss. Once I joined different organizations, I finally had some time to enjoy myself. I also made friends with people that I am still friends with to this day!
Recently, I took the time to thank that friend that invited me over for karaoke. I don’t think he ever realized how much that one gesture changed my life. We didn’t hang out much after freshman year – lived in different buildings, did different things. I was glad I was able to reach out to him. My life could have turned out so different had I transferred. And then what would you be reading right now?