There comes a point where it hits you that you are actually at university. That you’ve got responsibilities. That you no longer are the carefree preteen that you once were. For some it hits you the moment classes start. Or it’ll hit you the first night you get homesick. Or maybe when you’ve got four midterms and a pile of readings that you haven’t started. Whatever the case, you soon realize that you’re growing up. That you’re doing your own laundry. And groceries. And taking out the garbage – even if it’s only to the res garbage chute. You have no curfew and you no longer have to sneak back home at dawn. You get to make all your own decisions, even if your liver hates you for them.
You realize that the hand-holding stops and you really are out there on your own. University friends have their university problems to care about and the whole world is no longer just concerned about you and your future. They’re concerned about their future. And you’re concerned about yours. You drift away from your high school friends and you best friend back home becomes just another name with a bunch of emojis in your contact list. You start to appreciate your parents more. You’ll even call them for hours just to have a meaningful conversation with another human being. You start talking to the wall. And then you’ll start journaling and eventually blogging. I guess that’s where one and a half months of university has gotten me.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m loving every single minute of my university life. I feel grown-up and sophisticated and mature – everything the six-year old me wanted to be. But I also feel wild and out-of-control, no one stops me from taking that extra shot and no one tells me it’s time to go to bed or it’s time to get to do my readings for that midterm I have in four hours. You grow up and mature in a way you didn’t know how to before.
University is great. It’s liberating, it’s independent and it’s challenging. But it’s also lonely in the worst way and overwhelming. It’s a place where you’ll meet lifelong friends. Maybe meet “the one.” And maybe somewhere along all of the schoolwork, the parties, and the friends, you’ll even find yourself.