Everyone’s college experience is and will be unique

College may not be like a movie but it’s what you make of it

Written By Rachel Ross, Co-Opinions Editor

Going into my first semester as a college student, I had no idea what to expect. Of course, I’d heard things here and there from relatives or friends who had already gone through or began the experience, and I’ve seen “Son In Law” about a hundred times, but beyond that, I had no idea.

Are the classes going to be overwhelming? What is it going to be like living in a dorm? How do you meet people and find your “St. Elmo’s Fire”-esque friend group? Well now, somehow, it’s almost the end of my first semester as a college student, and if I had to sum up what I’ve learned, I would say this: everything is different for everyone.

Personally, I’ve liked my classes. The biggest challenge that I’ve repeatedly faced in them is my own confidence, so you know, what else is new. I have re-read every assignment probably 30 or so times before committing the irreversible act of hitting submit on Schoology, to make sure that what I’m handing in is something I deem “college worthy.” I have gotten used to the three hour lecture, something that almost sent me into cardiac arrest when I first saw it on my schedule way back in June. I’ve worked out a routine for managing my time throughout the week and weekend, and so I’m definitely very excited to have to get into a whole new groove come January.

Probably the best is that I’ve taken my first film classes, something that I’ve been excited about doing for years. It was definitely a pretty cool moment sitting in Intro to Screenwriting during the first class and coming to that realization that I was actually here; I’ve actually made it to this next step towards doing what I want to do.

Living in a dorm has been better than expected. That is when Lawrence isn’t a few degrees short of being on par with the Sun, and my smoke detector isn’t beeping for hours because it wants new batteries and I’m running out of AC/DC songs to drown it out with until someone can come take care of it. Besides that, not too bad. It’s been melancholy learning to take care of certain things on my own. Sometimes it’s, “Look at me, I’m emptying my own garbage, I’m so responsible!” and other times it’s, “Oh…I have to empty my own garbage and be responsible?” The biggest challenge for me has probably been dealing with things that I can’t exactly take care of on my own, i.e. smoke detector from my nightmares, but if anything, it’s taught me to be flexible I guess.

As for meeting people, I’m not going to say it hasn’t been difficult at times. Someone told me before I started that freshman year is not a year to be an introvert, which is a scary thing to hear for an introvert such as myself. What do you mean I can’t just sit in my room and watch Dawson’s Creek and somehow make friends that way? But once I started pushing myself a little more and came around to the idea that my parasocial friendship with Pacey Witter isn’t exactly a two way street, I was happy to find some really cool people.

It’s been really awesome to meet people who are as passionate about movies that I am, as well as people who are as passionate about something else as I am about movies. I appreciate having this opportunity to be in this space and meet people that I wouldn’t have if I would have gone to school back at home. I’m really grateful for the friends I have made so far and how they’ve helped in making this new environment feel more comfortable.

Overall, what I’ve come to find throughout this semester is that you can hear as many accounts or see as many movies or TV shows as you want before experiencing something yourself, but you won’t know anything for sure until you’re actually into it. We all start out in more or less the same place, not really knowing what to expect. How things go from there is different for everyone: some people might hate their classes or despise living in a dorm or make a million and one friends in their first week.

The important thing that I’ve taken from that is to not compare yourself to others, or try to be something you’re not. For the first month or so, I worried that if I didn’t instantly have a million friends and know all sorts of people that I was failing at college and the experience that comes with it. But over time, I’ve found friends and more of a sense of belonging and stopped looking to these crazy broad ideas as standards. Of course, it’s important to listen to others and take advice, but keep in mind that at the end of the day, the only person you really need to please is you. Your college experience can be whatever you want it to be.