In the frenzy that is preparing to leave the nest for the first time, there’s hardly time to sit around and contemplate your feelings. There are always more clothes to be packed, more things to buy, and emergency trips to the store to get something you forgot. As the day of departure grows nearer, emotions surface: worry, excitement, nervousness, apprehension, and joy for the newfound freedom that is college life.
When you get right down to the core of it, leaving for college is actually kind of scary. Our entire lives are changing. In a matter of one day, we leave our comfortable existence and branch out to something totally new. Suddenly “home” becomes a 15 by 13 foot room that you have to share with somebody else. You’re on a campus with thousands of other students, yet you may not know a single soul.
The thing that scares me the most is also the very thing that excites me the most about college. The unknown. I don’t know what to expect from the next month, year or four years. I do know that it’s going to be life-altering. I know that I will have so many experiences both academic and not that are going to shape me into the person I am supposed to become. I may not know a single person on campus, but I’m confident that I’m going to meet some fantastic people. College is an opportunity for a fresh start--any baggage or stigma we may carry from high school vanishes. We can stop being known as a label and start being known as the person we truly are. How many times in our lives do we get that kind of chance?
It seems that one of the most common worries of college freshmen everywhere is homesickness. Just the other day, it occurred to me that I have no idea what I’m going to do when I get homesick. I’ve been telling myself that if I don’t think about being homesick, it won’t happen. The reality is that homesickness is inevitable, and I had no plan to combat it. I think my friend’s grandma gives the best advice when she says, “Just remember, homesickness goes away.”
For me, the excitement outweighs all other emotions. I can’t wait to be on my own, to meet new people, and to finally get to stop taking math and science. I’m ready to learn not only journalism skills but also gain a new perspective on the world around me. Sure, I’m going to miss my family and friends (and my queen-size bed). But if I don’t throw myself into this new world, how will I grow and mature as a person? It’s just like the old adage says, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I know that leaving home is out of my comfort zone; but if I don’t do it, what kind of experiences am I missing out on?
Although the thought of my life completely changing does scare me, I’m choosing to be excited about it and to focus on all of the amazing things that are surely to come. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m ready for the mountains and valleys that are college life.