I’ve had a lot of changes happen in my life. I’ve changed a lot as a person in my life. This blog is a testament to that, and it’s one of the things I love about it. All that is to say, once again my life has gotten crazy. It’s probably been one of the biggest change in my life, and it as a result has changed everything involved in my life. I have officially moved in to a college campus and am attending the University.
I know. College, woo, it’s the best four years of your life, enjoy it while it lasts. The college experience. Take advantage of it, learn how to live, meet people, party until the break of dawn everyday of your life. That’s great and all, and maybe some of that is true. However, for an Extroverted-Introverted/over-thinker/anxiety ridden individual such as myself, people often leave out the stress that also comes from college. When you’re first going to college, you’re stressed from the fact that you literally know none of the people around you. So, you’re forced to make friends, and the way you are going to go about that is quite the burden to think about, at least if you have to think about every little aspect like I do. Not to mention, you have classes, a job usually, you have to pick and decide a major that you may or may not stick with, but will determine the amount of money you end up either borrowing or somehow obtaining, and will certainly determine how the rest of your life turns out. So. You know, no pressure. Just enjoy the best four years of your life partying and having no responsibilities or worries. Because that’s possible in such an environment. Anyways, I’m here to write about several things that I find myself missing already, only a week into this whole college life, and living on campus thing. I’d like to preface this with the fact I’ve had very little experience here so far, and my “dorm” is a hotel room. All this is to say that I’m speaking only from my experiences and from what I’ve seen. Take a note that this is coming from an extroverted introvert’s perspective. In other words, this is my opinion, and it’s not from anyone else’s experience at college.
1.) Enjoy living with your parents and/or siblings.
“But Josiah,” You say to me, “You don’t understand my parents and/or siblings. They’re horrible, messy, and tease me all the time.” You might be right. They might be all those things. But. They’re familiar. You, in some form or other, trust them. You’ve lived with them your whole life, so you understand how they function. You get them. You know what they love, what they hate. How to get on their nerves, how to avoid punishment, how to hide from them, and you can always find one way or another to be away from them and be alone. (Trust me, for an introvert/ambivert, this was incredibly essential.) When it was first revealed to me that I was going to get a roommate, I was actually pretty excited at first. I thought it’d be great. All the sitcoms I’ve seen flashed through my mind, and I thought that it’d be awesome to get to know someone so well and become best friends with them. Sure, that might be true in the television shows, but when you’re given a complete stranger, the chances your personalities are going to mesh well is close to one in a million. Even if you love your roommate, for quite some time it simply isn’t the same. You just can’t be as comfortable around them as you could your family. Not to mention, nothing about them is familiar. You have to relearn how to live and interact with someone. The tedious amount of energy and thought that requires is something that slowly becomes a burden. It makes you appreciate the times when you simply KNEW the person/people you were living with and could be 100% yourself. My advice for anyone struggling with this is to communicate with your roommate and be one hundred percent yourself. I’ve learned already that despite wanting to appear cool or like somebody I’m not so they might enjoy being around me, I realized rather quickly that was pretty much idiotic. THEY LIVE WITH ME NOW. Of course they’ll have to see the real me. At one point or another. So save yourself a ton of trouble and try not to impress them or be somebody you’re not. Also, communicate with them about pretty much everything, because you will disagree with them about something, and if neither of you say anything, then it’ll just rage deep inside until one of you bursts. That would not be pretty, let me tell you.
2.) Enjoy the friends you grew up with.
The friends in your hometown are people that know everything about you. My three best friends in the entire world have known me since sixth grade, and they know pretty much every tiny little thing about me. This ISN’T a bad thing. It means they know me just as well, if not better, than I know myself. They know your parents, your family, what you did in high school, they know your potential, your mistakes and problems, and love you anyways. Going to college, it’s essentially starting all over. Nothing from your past really matters. Nobody knows what you did in high school. Very few people see your potential. Nobody knows the tiny things you love, or the weird little things that you do. You’re completely unknown. It’s so easy, comfortable, and relaxing to be with your friends who understand how you function. They know that sometimes you need to be away from everything, and that you love spontaneous hangouts at Taco Bell. Or that you need adventures into the woods in your life, or that you need to hangout with them and do absolutely nothing besides just being with them. You can hangout with them whenever and wherever without ever worrying about them judging you or not understanding why you do the things you do. For me, the amount of pressure I feel trying to get other people to understand this without taking four years of my life is terrifying, exhausting, incredibly uncomfortable and a bit depressing. As someone who might as well have an anxiety disorder, the amount of worries that go through my head every time I try to make new friends is slightly miserable. I’ve personally found that my friends from my hometown are incredibly special and unique. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever find people quite like them anywhere else. So, enjoy the time you have with them while you can.
3.) Enjoy not having to pay for classes or housing or pretty much anything.
You know that ATM machine you call your parents? Yeah. They won’t always be there. Pretty self-explanatory. I’d also encourage you to save up if you have a job. This can’t be overstated, and is incredibly important. And for those seniors, find scholarships, as many as possible. They’ll get you places.
4.) Enjoy your hometown and discover it fully.
Moving to a new place is exciting and wonderful. Everything is new and fresh and there’s so much to see that you haven’t seen before. I love being new places and seeing new things. But let me tell you. When you first get to a new city, new place, a new home, everything feels slightly foreign to you. You have to rediscover everything. Which is exciting and wonderful, but it requires effort and can be a bit daunting. Your hometown, by the time you leave, if you’ve lived there your whole life like I did, is fully uncovered. If it hasn’t been completely discovered and uncovered, I HIGHLY encourage you to do so. Find every nook and cranny that might have some possibility of being interesting. I highly encourage you to make sure there’s not a single spot undiscovered in your hometown before you leave. There’s something amazing about knowing what’s around every corner and down every street. You know all the secret spots that no one else knows. Places that no one else would even think about visiting, but mean the world to you. There’s also the small shops and family owned businesses that only natives from your area know of. These places are special, and just aren’t the same if you didn’t grow up there. Make memories in these places. Find someplace completely isolated but comfortable. Where you can just be you with your thoughts. I can list at least three of these places that I found in my hometown. Every time I go back, I’m going to want to visit them. In a new town, these secret places are lost and deeply hidden behind the buildings, signs, and lights. It’s hard to find the secret spots when you have no idea where to start.
5.) Enjoy being a kid.
College is a kicker right in the adulthood pants. In other words, it’s really hard to do all the things you could do as a kid when you’re in college. Between classes, a job, getting time and money for food and cleaning up after yourself, it becomes significantly harder to find time to wander around outside. The free time you have as a kid, (yes that includes high-schoolers, don’t be so anxious to be old you whipper-snappers.) just doesn’t exist when you get into college. You find yourself getting stacked with paperwork, homework, and decisions. So please, please, take advantage of your time as a kid with few responsibilities and worries. Obviously, this changes from person to person, but overall, the amount of responsibilities are significantly less. So get together with your friends and learn their ins and outs. Go explore your town, just go walk in a random direction and find a special spot. Goof off and mess around with your friends. Enjoy life some. Don’t be stupid, be considerate of others in all things, but don’t try to have a mask over your life all of you adolescence. It’s miserable. Mess with people when it’s harmless, and help them realize that they need to relax and enjoy life a little bit too. If you’re uncomfortable with something, or hate doing something, but everyone else is doing it and so you feel obligated to do it even though you know it’s a bad for you, or bad for other people, DON’T DO IT. Explain yourself, and just walk away. Don’t worry about trying to be “the popular kid”. Just be the kid who loves life and people. Simple as that.
That was a lot to read, so congratulations. I hope you learned something, maybe about yourself, maybe about, or at least about me. Take all of this with a grain of salt, but make the most of the time given to you. All that being said, I’m going to try and find some quiet, lovely introvert spots around my new town.
Starting a new Chapter,