The times, as Bob Dylan says, they are a-changin’ for those of us counting down the days until obligatory public schooling ends.
While change has been the topic on everyone’s mind since second semester senioritis kicked in, it didn’t quite hit me until last Friday, the official college decision day, on which my classmates proudly wore t-shirts to school bearing their college’s name to celebrate this momentous milestone. Some called it tactless, others called it pointless, but I saw it as truly emblematic of the change we are all about to go through. Especially since just a day earlier, we had received our caps and gowns for graduation while the rest of the school elected next year’s student government. Talk about symbolism!
The more I’ve thought about it, the more interested I’ve become in what this seemingly insignificant ritual truly means. No longer are we going to identify ourselves as high school seniors, students that attend X High School or live in X town. Starting in the fall (or even sooner for those who can’t wait to get the hell out of Dodge), we will refer to ourselves as freshmen at Y College or Z University. This transition is almost like a change in our identities as we move on to the next phase of life, discovering our passions and skills and setting the groundwork for future careers.
All this sounds exciting, and for the most part, it certainly is. But at the same time, I admit to being half-terrified. I’ve been very comfortable with my life; I’m close with my family, I know who I am, and I know what I want to do with my life. I’m not opposed to trying new things, but I am nervous about some of the changes college will bring.
I’m comforted by the fact that just about every other high school senior shares some aspect of my anxiety – and yet I can’t quite shake this feeling that making this transition is going to be far from a cakewalk. And given the relative ease of my life so far, living under my parents’ roof and enjoying the luxuries of dependence (thank you, Mom and Dad, for keeping me clothed and fed all these years), I hope I can handle the adjustment and whatever college throws at me come the fall.
What was the transition from high school to college like for you? How did you cope with the change?