Sorry to break it to all the freshmen, but college is exactly like high school

Adam Griffiths

It’s kind of surreal at first. You’re standing in your residence hall room. Alone. Your parents have just left. And it hits you – you have no idea what the hell you’re doing.

Just three months ago, you crossed a stage to chords of “Pomp and Circumstance” and received your diploma. Just three short months, and summer flew by faster than you thought it could.

You may not have learned anything in high school, but that piece of paper you earned proved one thing: You made it through four years of some of the most intense, cutthroat academic and social competition you’re ever going to experience. And just when you thought you were past it, you came to college.

I hate to break it to you, but college is just like high school.

You thought Facebook ruled high school? You have no idea. We use it for everything here. More and more professors have Facebook every day. And you’d better convince your parents to add unlimited text messaging to your phone, because you can text anywhere – in class, from jail, when you’re suffocating in the basement of a house party.

Residence halls can be as cliquey as high school hallways, but you’ll survive. If you find yourself growing away from those friends you’ve relied on at home for years, don’t worry. Forcing a friendship is never pretty, only petty, but it’s part of growing up. Make at least one best friend and three close friends here at Kent State.

Meet someone new and join a student organization. There are more than 22,000 people here, so step outside your regular group of friends and talk to someone who’s blind or of a different ethnicity or sexual orientation. Fresh perspective may change your life.

And then there’s sex, drugs and drinking. Chances are, if it’s illegal in some part of the country, you’re bound to find it somewhere in Kent – for a price. And buy some condoms, because the last thing you want to bring home from college is an STD.

Don’t stay in your residence hall all weekend. Go out to BlastOff. Go party at the frat houses. Throw a glass of water at your boyfriend’s windshield – your boyfriend who is nice enough to stay sober to come pick up you and your wasted friends when your mom is coming into town the next morning. Stumble (barely) down a side street until said boyfriend and friends come back for you. Really, what’s the worst that could happen?

Please, for your own sake and sanity, take a chance.

As Queen Latifah’s character put it in the recent movie Hairspray, “You better brace yourself for a whole lotta ugly comin’ at you from a never-ending parade of stupid.”

Go out Friday and Saturday night. You’ll see the ugly.

Go to class Monday morning. Stumble upon the stupid.

You may not learn anything in college, but as long as you realize it’s all the same drama and bullshit of high school – on speed – you’ll be able to take on anything that life happens to throw at you after you walk across that platform in the M.A.C. Center in four or more years.

Adam Griffiths is a sophomore magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].