I’ve recently realized that the most important thing about going to college is leaving it. No, I don’t mean going home every weekend, since that would defeat the whole gaining-your-independence thing that I’ve been striving for. But I now know that to really be independent, I have to get off campus every once in a while.
My college is pretty secluded, so when I am here, I am in a little college bubble. Sure, I take care of myself and am independent, but I am surrounded by people I know, or people who would be happy to help me at any moment. Life is pretty simple here, if you ignore the fact that we’re constantly stressed from homework and no free time. But still, if I spent four years within the college limits, I would never learn how to really take care of myself.
Getting away from this bubble at first made me nervous, but now brings me relief. Since I am so close to Boston, I can take the bus into the city and just roam around. I can eat real, non-dining-hall food, and walk past faces that I don’t recognize. And I can be on my own.
College is teaching me all about how to learn. I will leave it with a degree and lots of facts in my head. But hopefully this small-town girl will also learn how to take public transportation, walk through a crowded sidewalk, and be comfortable alone in a city. Getting off-campus can be just as educational as staying on it. And by the end of my four years, I want to say that my time her taught me not just how to learn, but how to live.