OPINION: An honest discussion of the truths of college

Micayla+Ter+Wee

Micayla Ter Wee

One year ago, I was a high school graduate just beginning my transition into a college student. I had few worries about starting college.

I was a straight-A student with self-discipline and average social skills. Everyone assured me that I was more than equipped to smoothly enter the college atmosphere.

The transition was not overly difficult. However, there were a few hard truths about leaving high school that I grappled with during my freshman year.

There are no more expectations of you.

In high school, my teachers and parents knew what I was capable of academically and held me responsible to meet those expectations. College professors had no idea what kind of student I was, and they likely did not care.

I always let everyone else’s expectations serve as my goals, so I struggled to set my own goals without them. I will always remember the first time I turned in an incomplete assignment. I was mildly shocked to see that my professor did not care and I still got a B on the assignment. It was slightly liberating. 

Opportunities are no longer handed on silver platters.

I come from a small, rural community and school district. Everyone knows everyone else’s strengths and interests. My teachers knew which clubs or projects I would excel in, so they would simply ask me to join. Community members knew what jobs I had the skills for, so they would approach me and offer jobs.

That all ended in college. I had to vocalize my interests and skills to others. I had to approach my professors to ask for opportunities. I had to search for ways to be involved.  It took me nearly a semester to accept this new reality.  

Life isn’t planned for you.

In high school I knew everyone, had a solid group of friends and my life had few variables.

College was different. I was in a new state and had to build new friendships. I questioned my major and aspirations. My confidence in my abilities wavered and every decision I had to make morphed into a new anxiety. As someone who has always been sure about her choices, this was hard to experience.

Fortunately, every other freshman was experiencing the same thing. It is amazing how therapeutic it was to talk about anxieties with other freshmen over a tub of ice cream. 

Once I acknowledged these hard truths about college, I began to really enjoy my freshman year at SDSU. As I begin my second year, I am hesitantly excited to see what new challenges I will face.

 

Micayla Ter Wee is a secondary education Spanish major and can be reached at 

[email protected].