When I started my first semester here at Christopher Newport, what initially hit me was that it was nothing like I had expected it to be. The reality of college was far from what I’d dreamed it would be while planning my graduation party, shopping for matching decor with my roommate and receiving college acceptance letters.
I believe I’ve narrowed this discrepancy down to two things: emotions, and the incredible difference between high school and college.
When I was preparing to move into college, I assumed my first week would be the happiest of my life. I assumed I would be incredibly excited, and that the overall experience would be really relaxed. Turns out, watching my family leave was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Thankfully, as most things do, it has gotten better with time. I’ve adjusted to this new normality, and am enjoying everything college life has to offer. As for college being relaxed – well, it is anything but that. I don’t think I’ve ever been so busy in my life. Again, I’m learning that that is also not at all a bad thing.
On top of the emotions I expected to experience being completely out-of-whack, I’ve realized that the gap between high school and college is even bigger than I’d thought it would be. In high school I found it simple to maintain A’s, half a dozen extracurriculars and two part-time jobs without experiencing high levels of stress. I never cracked a textbook, never studied for a quiz. Academics came naturally to me, and I didn’t expect it to be any different when I officially became a student at Christopher Newport. Well, I’ve come to the realization that the only way you can have excessive free time to do whatever suits you is if you either completely put off your classes, or refuse to join any on-campus organizations.Only six weeks in, I’m lucky if I spend one hour a day on the various clubs I’m a part of. The rest of my time is heavily devoted to my classes, homework and the continual cycle of studying.
Although the transition from high school to college has been anything other than what I’d expected, I’m learning to love it. Even though the reality of it is nothing like I’d dreamed, I think in some unexpected way, it’s even better.