The College Experience
The biggest adaptation I have had to make in my life was moving to college. Not only was it totally different from high school in relation to the content of classes and homework, but it was also completely different from my home life. I was living on my own, with new surroundings and new people. Needless to say, this was something like I had never experienced before.
Generally, college classes aren't that much more difficult than high school courses. The big difference is that in college I have to do all of my homework outside of class. There's no study hall in college. I have to take it upon myself to get to the library if needed or ask the necessary questions. Another big difference between high school academics and college academics is the importance of the test. Unlike in high school, where daily assignments can help to pad a grade, the main source of grading in college is the test. With possibly only three tests per semester in certain classes, I am under a heavy burden to do well on each test. Also, with all of the independence I now have, homework and studying are not always my first priorities. I would much rather spend time with my friends, watch television, or go to a party than do my schoolwork. I have found that all the distractions that are present in college life lead to procrastinating. There have been many times when I have put off doing an assignment until the night before. It is obvious that as a college student, I have had to adapt to a whole new style of learning.
Another thing that I have had to adapt to is living on my own. Since I don't have a curfew anymore, I feel more independent than I ever have before. I no longer have to worry about coming home late or tell anyone where I'm going to be. Coming home means going back to my own place instead of my parents' house. I don't have to ask anybody if I can do this or that; I can, for the most part, do what I want to do whenever I want. This can have both advantages and disadvantages. Advantages are that I can do more than I have before and I can do more experimenting and exploring. However, this could lead to problems, such as with relationships and possibly even the police. As a rule, independence must be handled very carefully.
Along with independent living comes yet another problem: effectively managing my money. College costs are rising every year, while financial aid becomes increasingly less. Spending for college must be carefully mapped out, because if money is not spent wisely, I might not be able to afford the necessary materials. I must buy books, pay registration and athletic fees, pay phone bills, etc. If spent wisely, money can go a long way. To manage my money more effectively, I opened a checking account so I know what my money is being spent on. With my checking account, I am able to see where I can cut back on spending, as well as how much money I have to spend.
College isn't made up of all negative adjustments, however. In college I got to meet many new people and make new friends. I thought it would be more difficult to meet new people because I'm very shy and reserved, yet I was amazed at how easy it was to talk to new people and get acquainted with them. Everybody is in the same boat upon arrival at college; not too many people know each other, and usually they are very willing to strike up a conversation to get to know some people. I have thus far greatly enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends.
I think I made the right choice by going to college. First off, with a degree I am almost guaranteed an excellent job once I get done with college, so I'd be ahead if I went to college just for that. But there are so many other aspects of college, such as making new friends, being in a totally new environment, and living independently, that will help me adapt to different situations for the rest of my life.
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