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Jul 19 2017
by Anne Marie Yurik

The Terrifying Clean Slate of College

By Anne Marie Yurik - Jul 19 2017

Now that we have made it this far, walked across the stage and received a diploma, what happens?

I mean, sure, we all have laid some sort of plan: college, community college, jobs, gap years, etc. But what really happens? What do we do now that we don't have a reputation?

To be honest, the thought that my reputation as an editor in chief of my high school publication means nothing more than an old experience scares me. I worked extremely hard for four years to show people who I am and what I am capable of.

In high school, I felt very comfortable in school. I knew who the teachers were, I knew who I needed to go to when I needed help with anything and I knew how to take advantage of all the opportunities given to me. 

A clean slate in college means that I will not know everyone there is to know from the start, and they will not know me. My counselor in high school was amazing. He knew my goals and he knew I was driven, and leaving all those comforts behind seems incredibly scary.

I started my first semester of high school in a journalistic writing course, and from that moment forward I worked tirelessly to prove myself amongst my peers and teachers but also to me as well. I had to show myself what I was capable of, and this senior year really gave me much more closure in terms of reaching a point where I felt proud of myself and my accomplishments.

Now going into college with a fresh set of goals and a new track is incredibly overwhelming since I'm starting all over in every aspect of my life. New friends, new goals, new teachers, new peers, new environment and new challenges.


Knowing that all of that work will be left behind is daunting. Will I really be able to prove myself again? Will my work ethic carry me through college or did it expire after graduation? Those thoughts are definitely real, but they're also OK. And even though I cannot comfort my plagued brain, since I don't know the answers, there is another way to look at it.

Having no reputation means that I can start all over again — in a positive way. I am not perfect and there are certainly things that I would like to change about myself. And starting new at college means that I am whoever I want to be, not who they expect me to be. 

And this is the case for everyone. We are all being given the chance to start new, to be who we want to be, and that is both scary and amazing. I guess that means that it is not the question of what happens next, it's the question of who we want to become.

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash

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Anne Marie Yurik - University of Pittsburgh

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