NateHarris, Guest Writer
So this is college.
Today begins my fourth week of classes, and as such, the stress can finally kick in. Tests coming up, some tests already passing. Passing in the sense that they already occurred; whether or not they are passing in the sense of grades is dependent now solely on whether or not some higher being can forgive my sin of gluttony. I’m sorry, but you try living where there is literally an all-you-can-eat buffet twenty-four hours a day and not feel like you’ve delved into the world of obesity stock footage for 20/20. Freshman fifteen, more like freshman forty. But I digress.
If college has taught me one thing over the past near-month, it would be that there is never just one thing. The transition from elementary school to middle school introduces lockers and slightly more self-discipline. The transition to high school allowed you to eat outside and introduced the concept of school spirit. In college, you don’t have to go to class if you don’t want to (though I highly recommend you do, and if you don’t, you’ll learn…). The possibilities are nearly endless, the only thing limiting you being Georgia State Law. It’s a paid experience, and you decide what you experience.
Every day I discover something new that I never knew I had paid for with tuition. I went to the gym yesterday. Imagine anything you could want to do, and they have it in the athletic center. Full gym membership, paid for by student fees. We have a movie theater. We have ballroom dancing classes. We have students passionate about what they do, be it in their major or in the community. We have people who want to play music, and we have people who want to listen to that music. We have people who want to make the world a better place, be it through civil rights, environmental activism, helping the needy communities around us or bringing awareness to life-threatening diseases in other countries around the world. We have Athens. We have jocks, hipsters, nerds. We have stereotypes, we have cliques, but more importantly, we have the opportunity to open our eyes to the real world around us. “The world is our oyster.” Well, I for one am about to crack that baby open and do something with my life.
The key to college is to get involved, get out of your comfort zone. Do not sit in your room all day. Focus on classes, but when you have free time, let it be FREE time. Make friends, make enemies, explore the world around you, try something new. Go to a football game. Pull an all-nighter. Be the first at a dining hall. I did all of those at the same time. Be free, live life, and have fun.
It is a feeling like no other.
(cover photo courtesy Nate Harris)