From the minute we understand what college is, most people can’t wait to go. The portrayal in movies and on TV of life-long friendships, endless parties, and epic sports teams has many of us convinced it will be the best years of our lives. And for some people, it truly is. But for others, it’s just another stage of life, and that’s okay too.
A college education can take many forms. Not everyone enrolls in a four-year program (shout out to junior college grads and those with Associates Degrees) and of those who do, not everyone goes straight after high school. Some people live on campus and some commute. Some join clubs and activities and some don’t.
What most people seem to forget is that college is about more than the perfectly curated Facebook or Instagram feed. Studying and getting good grades and having fun doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive, but for every person who had the picture-perfect college experience, there is someone else who wishes they’d picked a different school. Or a different major. Or worked harder in their classes, or connected with more people. Or discovered a new passion. Or made an impact on their community.
We live in a world where expectations for experiences are so ingrained in our psyche that any deviation from what we think of as “normal” is considered “bad”. But the truth is the only thing we have in common with each other is the fact that all of our experiences are uniquely different.
So the next time you feel left out when your friends talk about college as the “glory days” if they weren’t yours, just remember that you are not alone. And hey, if college wasn’t the pinnacle of your life so far, that just means your best days are still to come.
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