The College Experience

When first entering college, all of us have a certain perception of the world, a right and wrong, a black and white. Just a warning: That changes, even if you don’t want it to. The most change I’ve ever gone through was in these four years of my life. I don’t know if I will undergo the same kind of changes so rapidly again, I just graduated, but still, it’s worth wondering about.

Things change the minute you enter. Suddenly, you’re expected to merge in, make new friends and perceive them as your new family. Everything has to be done; there’s is no one to do it for you and most of all, you learn the only absolute truth about the big bag world: Nothing is black and white anymore.

Remember that kid in school who you despised because he smoked? Now so does your best friend. You can’t hate her right? That jackass who cheated on you, the one you hate with all your guts now? You understand how all the cheating happened and more than that, why it did. Pot seemed like a drug? Now you’ve got the task of rolling it. See how I said things change? I bet you do.

Let me explain this notion with a better example. Being single for most of my college life, but having different experiences of my own, I often found myself getting pulled in to my couple friends, their happiness and their drama. It came to a point where all of them (they weren’t many, just 2 couples) used to ask for my advise in times of crisis. I actually thought of myself as pretty good couples counselor somewhere during that time. But things changed, and I realized that a bit too late. I used to be an objective judge of the situation; then I got too close, I was blind to the faults of a friend, I gave her some really bad advise and their relationship went down the drain. Because of me.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t entirely my fault, but I do internalize other people’s issues. All I could think about at the end was, how did I end up giving THAT advice. I was always against lying. I believed I still was; apparently I was mistaken. Then it struck me.

For the past few years, I’ve learnt to look at situations as a small bump in the road instead of a huge mountain. Yes, I’ve started minimizing problems even when they aren’t that small. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that I look at the grey between the black and white, but sometimes I push those perceptions on people who don’t necessarily think like me. It doesn’t always work out the way I think it should. Lives were changed completely because of something I said (although I’m not a big believer in college relationships lasting, it does hurt me to  see my friends in pain).

I sat down and realized how much the college experience truly changes you. You start making excuses for yourself, you take the easy road instead of the right one, and most of all, guilt comes the hardest to you. Well, to me really. I used to be an over thinker. The four years changed that. I now believe I under think. And the best part about this, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. Yes, I’ve changed, and yes I’ve made mistakes because of that. I’m not proud of those mistakes but I like not over thinking every aspect. I like saying “Hakuna Matata” whenever an issue presents itself. It gives me the confidence and the belief that it will vanish too. 

What I mean to say is, everyone changes during college; every one alters their thinking process, and every one makes mistakes. Punishing yourself for those; while self loathing can be fun, is not something one should do. Because you can’t blame anyone for what happens, not even yourself. I learnt how to deal with things pragmatically, and it helped me get over some pretty tough times. So, blaming yourself for change, well, never works out very well. Don’t do it. That’s all I’ve got to say.


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