CollegeWhen I started high school, I remember everyone told me to enjoy those four years because
they would be the best of my life and they would fly by way too fast.
Then when I started college, everyone else told me the same thing, and I began to wonder–which four years are really better?

Don’t get me wrong. I loved my high school and still have immense high school pride. But after three busy years, I can safely say that I’ve enjoyed my college years more. Before moving in freshman year, I assumed I’d go to all my classes, do my homework, join a couple clubs and have plenty of free time. The fact that I did not have to commute to school anymore made it seem like there would be so much extra time in my schedule.

When I got here, I realized that the week only gave me enough time for the above activities with barely enough additional time to unwind, de-stress, and relax. Maybe I’m over involved. But the main reason I believe my college years have been more essential in my life thus far is because I have noticed more change in myself and my character in one year of college than in all four years of high school combined.

Living on your own, even only in the dorms, requires you to become more independent while simultaneously helps you discover more about yourself than you realize.

In high school, regardless of how many friends you have, you have a smaller group of close friends who you spend free time with. If you are really close with these friends, you will remain friends with them long after high school, so here is where your friendship gets the true test. Collegeis kind of the same. We all live together, so we have to put up with each other and we have to eventually find a group of friends here who we enjoy spending our free time with.

Not trying to sound cliche, but college is also the time and place to find yourself. These four years are the years when you will essentially form the foundationof the person you will be by the time of graduation and true adulthood.

While you are joining tables in Barone full of 20 or so of your new-found friends, you will not only be making lifelong relationships, but you will also be discovering, though you won’t know it at the time, what it is that makes you you. I promise you, by the end of your four years, you will be shocked by how much your Fairfield experiences, from the very good to the bad, add up to that little piece of paper in von Arx’s hand graduaton day.

Here’s a fun fact (or myth) you may or may not already know: 60 percent of Fairfield graduates marry their college sweetheart. I know – you’re here for orientation and you haven’t moved in yet so marriage is definitely
the last thing on your mind. Think about it like this: if 60 percent of Fairfield graduates find their special someone here, then what more for lifelong friends?

Beyond that scary tangent which is still way in the future, as we go through these formative years together in the dorms, we find more and more friends with interests similar to our own, or who’s company we simply enjoy. There is less conformity to assume our respective roles in our groups. As we begin to grow to understand ourselves, our passions,and what we want to do with our lives, we find everyone else who can respect us for who we are finding ourselves to be.

Right now, the people who are special to me are the people who made me smile when I was miserable and when I didn’t know what else to do.

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