Posted by: Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet | November 11, 2010

A Place to Call Our Own


Currently in the hunt for an apartment, my roommate and I are exploring our options for sophomore year.  Although it would be nice to have House Hunters’ host Suzanne aid in our search, the Internet has served as an adequate substitute.  Today, as we scrolled through photo after photo of possible places to purchase, my roommate, Kasia turned to me.  With an astonished look on her face she said, “Lauren! We are actually going to have a place of our own!”

I stopped to think about what had just been said.  “A place of our own” sounds quite cozy and free, doesn’t it?  Almost liberating (a word I feel sums up the college experience).  Since the day we moved in, each day of college has been a succession of liberating experiences.  And now we are embarking on the biggest freedom of all: owning our very own apartment!  It’s almost too good to be true.

Here’s one thing I have learned the past few months: college may be the biggest lifestyle change I may ever endure.

No high school course could have prepared me for collegiate life and expectations.  It changed my eating, sleeping, exercising and studying habits, but most importantly my responsibilities and perspective on life.  College elevated my responsibilities tenfold.

Future college students, let me prepare you for freshman year.  Following move-in day, the weight of your decisions will be placed solely on you.  Sleep in late for a class?  Get caught drinking?  The consequences for these actions are definitely your fault, so you’d better own up to them.  You can’t blame mom and dad for your mistakes in college.  It’s humbling, really.  I have so much respect for my parents now.  In high school, my mother not only remembered her hectic schedule, but kept tabs on MINE as well.  I have no idea how she did it.  There are so many things to remember, so many deadlines to meet (invest in a planner).  It can be overwhelming at times, but I believe it makes you a better person.  College prepares you more for life than high school ever could.

Okay, so the whole responsibility thing may seem a little daunting for some of you, but don’t worry!! There is a flipside to every story.  College will also unleash freedoms that are beyond your imagination (I like to refer to this as The Sweet Release).  My only advice: be careful.  And please, for the sake of…. oh I don’t know, your parents?  Try to make wise decisions.  Just because you have the freedom to do whatever does not mean you should.  If you are in a situation that feels wrong, leave!  Don’t ever lie to yourself (tip: if you have to convince yourself that something is okay, it’s probably not).  By all means however, try new things!  Try a new sport, take a class that interests you, make new friends, dare to navigate bus transportation systems, get involved–college is the best opportunity to discover new interests.

All this leads me back to where I started.  My roommate and I have finally narrowed it down to three apartment complexes… decisions, decisions.  Not to mention we can’t seem to decide if we want two, three or four bedrooms.  We do not have a clue what we want, and in the end we will probably just have to go with our gut on this one.   As long as the place fits what we’re looking for, I’m sure I will be happy with whatever we choose.

As it applies to life, what’s most important is that we choose what is best for us.

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