College is expensive. College is hard. College is a waste of time. College is important. College is overrated. College is exhausting. College is underrated...College is the greatest experience that I have ever had.
Depending on who you talk to when you bring up the topic of "college" you will get all sorts of mixed responses. People will tell you their opinion based off of their own experience with college so this post may not help you at all as it is simply my opinion from my experience. If you go to college usually you wish everyone to go to college and if you do not get the opportunity to go to college you wish you had it as you were curious to see what it is like and how you could benefit from it. Either way, this is my experience.
I just finished my last semester of college a little over a week ago. I have been going to college for 3 1/2 years to get my BS Computer Science degree and I have been taking college classes for about 7 years (took college courses online in my free time during high school) so it was a bitter sweet feeling to hold that degree in my hands but that is not the point. Obtaining that degree feels great as it is proof the hard work paid off but it is the opportunities and the experiences that I received from college that I am truly cherishing.
College is about you.
College is the time and place where you truly discover yourself. It is your time to prove who you are and who you want to be. You only have a few years to do it so you need to do it fast. Getting the opportunity to come to college means that people out there believe in you and have invested the time and energy in who you can become. Whether that be financially, spiritually, or mentally, people believe in you and it is your time to show them that they made the right decision.
College gives you this broad world of knowledge that only begins to scratch the surface with what is really out there. It gets you comfortable with as much different types of knowledge as possible so you can find out what is all out there (making you the well rounded type) and then you can work harder at some specific field is you wish to (some people feel that undergrad schooling is not true college yet as you are still trying to figure out what you want to do the rest of your life and grad school is where you go to actually learn).
All of these classes, student organizations, leadership roles, etc. are all available to you and it is up to you to find where you fit in. Maybe you are meant to study all day and night to obsorb as much book knowledge as you can. Maybe you are meant to become involved in more student organizations then you can possibly handle. Maybe you are meant to get more jobs and internships and pay less attention to school work. You get to choose your path. There is no right path. Remember college is about you so you get to pick the path that you want to take at college and work your very best at that path to become who you want to become when you leave.
Before: First semester freshman year
Coming into college I was somewhat like your typical college kid. No, I am not involved in parties and I am not a wild guy in the slightest but I did choose to have the freedom to spend all my money and time on dumb stuff. My very first class that I walked in on my very first day of my freshman year became the worst grade that I received through my entire college experience. So...that kind of typical college kid. Don't let this first year discourage you. Every college kid goes through it. It is the beginning of your discovery time.
This year was great because I explored some interests of mine in classes and clubs as I believe every freshman should do. I came in as a biology degree believe it or not and now I cannot see myself doing anything related to biology. I joined student organizations that I ended up leaving all of them sophomore year for more benefiticial ones. I did not do as good as I was hoping in my first semester classes and I simply was not sure what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Again, typical college kid.
...some stuff happened here...
After: Last semester senior year
Now senior year is here and boy has life changed. After my first semester freshman year I learned how to study (it really is a skill to discover and practice how you personally learn best) and how to personally motivate yourself to do your best in classes and get good grades (aka find your passion).
I became a member of my University's highest honor society, I was Vice President of a couple student organizations, teacher's assistant for a Computer Science class, a University student tutor, intern with two companies, and I started a couple small businesses since that first freshman year semester. I began to discover that I am truly passionate about programming and entrepreneurship. I love working hard to see what I am truly capable of. I love trying new things and getting ubsorbed in this new world I have yet to discover. I truly learned who I am and who I want to be during these past few years.
If it was not for college, who knows where I would be right now. Walking into that dorm room 3 and a half years ago I had no idea what I was getting into and where I would be when I walked out of my final class. I have learned more in the past few years then I have in my entire life and I know I am just getting started. The world is big and there is so much to learn. I am so excited to learn more and more every single day of my life. There is so much potential and so much opportunity.
Try college. It was the best experience I have ever had so far in my life and it is not really because of the books. It is the time you receive to learn about yourself and about the world and the people in it. The books are just to spark your interest in what there is out there.
Thank you college.