It is finally Christmas break. Off for an entire month before we are back at it again for Spring semester. In several cases, I have found college to be completely different from high school, yet in some cases, there seems to be no difference in my experience.
- The faculty and staff. Your teachers at Lycoming are just like the best of your teachers in high school: caring. Since I was back home during break, I went to pick up my little brother the one afternoon and I stopped to see some of my teachers that I was close with to catch up on the lost time. Among all the talking and conversation, I noticed they had a few common questions seemed to always pop up. “What’s your major?” “How are your grades?” “Are you doing well overall?” and “What is college like?” to see how I am doing and check up on me to make sure I was still sane. Lycoming teachers are just the same. Thanks to the low student-to-faculty ratio, getting close with teachers is by far one of the least things to worry about on this campus. Teachers will usually talk to me in class and whenever I see them outside of class, and they do take interest in your social life to know what is going on. The teachers at Lycoming are pretty great when it comes to caring about their students. A bonus as well for college: a few Lycoming professors have invited students into their homes for Thanksgiving meals if they are international students or are simply not going home. That’s pretty fantastic, right?
- Let’s talk about food. This hasn’t changed a whole lot considering the food starts out good, but then once you eat food from the dining hall every day for every meal, a home cooked dinner made by mom or dad or grandma or whoever makes the good stuff at home is the best thing about being home. Lycoming College does try to use fresh and local ingredients whenever they can get their hands on them, which is pretty great for a college. The ‘freshman 15’ is not hard to gain, but it is less likely when you have fresh food available to you at Wertz Dining Hall and the infamous flex-consumer: Jack’s Corner. Also, they are more than welcoming to any recommendations for the foods you want to have on the menu so it is possible to enjoy your favorite comfort food away from home.
- Your friends are your support group. They say you meet your best friends in college and I can agree to that. I don’t talk to my friends from high school much anymore since I have moved on to college, and that is completely normal. My best friends, the Marylanders, the Californian, and a few others are my support group. Without them, I would have no hair and probably be permanently outfitted into a straitjacket. The only difference (and upgrade) between best friends in high school and best friends in college is that chances are, they’re only a short walk away.
- Drama, and not always the theatrical kind. The drama will be in your life no matter what. Whether you’re at Lycoming, West Chester, Harvard or Yale, drama will always exist and if you watched the TV series Gossip Girl, you already know that. Honestly, and sadly, drama does not end once you walk across that stage to get your diploma that you worked towards for years upon years in high school. Luckily, our wonderful RAs in Res Life help handle stressful situations within your living conditions. A word for the wise: choose your battles wisely. It may help to avoid unnecessary situations and stress.
- They’re there for you through thick and thin. Again, the best friends are at a new level. You thought your friends in high school were your ‘BFFLs,’ but that acronym takes on a whole new meaning in college. Yes, it is possible to still be friends with your pals from high school, but I believe college is the real test of friendship. You are put through the stress of classes, lack of sleep (what even is sleep?), being away from home for most of the student body, dealing with the drama, any financial situations you may have, and everything just seems 30 times harder in college than it did before. I have met some people here at Lycoming that I would take a bullet for. I would never trade my 2 am McDonald's runs, late night drives to blow off stress and blast our favorite bands, adventures to other towns at various hours of the day, late night talks about anything and everything that comes to mind, and all of my memories with them for truly anything.
- Roomates. Living on campus means that you are essentially moving out of your house and probably sharing a room with someone, and that someone is most likely a complete and total stranger. Being the only girl in my house, I always had my own room until my step sister moved in and that didn’t work out well for either of us. It is a huge adjustment to make, but sometimes you and your roommate hit it off and become best friends. Also one of the more annoying aspects of living on campus: every long break you have to re-pack all of the clothes and furniture just to take it home for anywhere from 1-3 months just to pack and bring it all back again.
- Freedom. College is where you grow up and get a little harder of a nudge into adulthood. You are old enough to be responsible and make your own choices. Girls, you can wear shorts and a tank top to class and yes, in fact, the boys do still learn. Boys (and ladies) you can wear your hats to class and the teachers won’t care as long as you are not disrupting the class with said hat. On the negative side, your teachers will not baby you on assignments, so get that planner out and write down those due dates. You are responsible for yourself and you will be extra lucky if your teacher does in fact give you regular reminders about upcoming due dates.
All in all, college and high school are at times both similar and polar opposites. In my opinion, my experience with college has been better than high school. High school is the time to figure yourself out while college is where you continue to figure yourself out and find the right people to figure things out with and to make memories that you won’t forget. It is the next step in life after high school so of course it is going to be somewhat similar, but the next step up will give you a different view than the last. Change is good. Lycoming is a good place to make change.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Although the transition between high school and collehicge is difficult for many people, Lycoming College offers many resources to help you succeed, including a wonderful faculty and staff. Check out our website, and see if Lycoming could be your new home after high school!