Yeah, I know. It’s a weird title. But hopefully it will make sense by the end.

 

When I was in high school, I knew that I eventually would want to go to college. There was never a time that I thought eh I actually don’t want to go to college. That  was never conceivable for me. I always dreamed of going to college one day to further my education. Despite how much I complained about class and homework, I actually loved learning, and I was excited to do more of it at a university one day. So everything I did in high school was work towards one goal: college.

By junior year of high school, I had narrowed down a handful of colleges that interested me. My top two were Stanford University and Chapman University. I don’t even remember how I came across Chapman, but maybe it found me–who knows. So my mom and I went on a college road trip. First, we toured Chapman, and let me tell you, I had never seen a more beautiful school in my life. It was so Southern California. There were palm trees everywhere! I had never even seen palm trees before. The campus was beautiful and it just seemed like it had everything. Not to mention it was ten minutes from Disneyland and twenty from the beach! I had fallen in love with this college. Then, my mom and I made our way to Stanford. And, having already seen Chapman, I was actually afraid my dream school wouldn’t even match what I had just seen in Orange, California. Even though Stanford was one of the best schools in the country, it actually just didn’t seem like the right place to me anymore. When I got home, my new dream school was Chapman. I was intent on going. A couple months after the trip I got my rejection letter from Stanford, and I actually wasn’t hurt by it. All I wanted was to get accepted to Chapman. Then one day after a track meet I got an email from Chapman and my heart broke. I’d been wait listed for the fall but was guaranteed for the spring. I didn’t want to go in the spring! But I would do anything to go, so I accepted that and decided I would go to another university in Colorado for a semester and then transfer if that meant I could eventually go to Chapman. But then a phone call changed everything. I had been admitted from the wait list. I remember thanking God in that moment. My prayers had been answered. I was ready to go to my dream school.

My mom moved me out. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to be living in California. I was finally out of Colorado, away from the snow. Settling into college was a strange transition. All of a sudden I didn’t have my parents telling me what to do anymore or worrying about me all the time. I quickly made an amazing group of friends. I had roommates now. I had never shared a room with anyone. Now I had to learn to clean up after myself, take out the trash, and go grocery shopping! So many new things. I immediately got a Disneyland pass, because, you know, why not? I remember the exact moment that I knew I had finally reached a new chapter of my life. I was sitting in my dorm room one day and I looked and I had my own loaf of bread. Now I know this sounds crazy, but it was such a big deal to me. My family at home always had a habit of eating my bread or leaving it open to dry out. But now all of a sudden I had my own and for some reason this meant I was finally kind of an adult. I could go to Disneyland after class and I had my own loaf of bread; a new chapter of my life had finally begun.

My freshman year of college was one to remember. I made a lot of relationships and memories.  I was going to TV screenings, Harry Potter World, and movie premieres. Beach trips were weekly outings now, which was a big deal for someone who had never lived by the ocean before. I was taking classes that I actually enjoyed. I found best friends, some who I live with still today and some who would travel a great distance with me just to eat cool food. I loved the new people in my life, the new places I was seeing, and all the amazing things I was experiencing. I started to realize how much control I had over my life. I could go anywhere I wanted; I could make my own decisions with my own repercussions.

My purpose in writing this long-winded blog is this: college is good for the soul, at least for some. College isn’t for everyone, but anyone who has the dream of going to a university one day,  pursue it with hard work. It is so healthy for you. It’s the first step into adulthood, in my opinion. You get your first taste of freedom. You learn how to take care of yourself. You get to choose the people you surround yourself with. And, most importantly, you get to make decisions for you and your life. This is your life; make sure to enjoy it.

Published by Amy Roach