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Jul 15 2015
by Danielle Newman

Why I'm Choosing to Leave Some People Behind in College

By Danielle Newman - Jul 15 2015
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Going of to college, especially away from home, can be intimidating and even terrifying. You have to leave everything you once knew behind: your family, your home, even your friends. And, while many people write in their friends yearbooks or graduation cards, "Be sure to keep in touch! Best friends forever!" sometimes it's better for us to start fresh and leave some of those friends behind. Why? Because it could change your life forever.

Growing up in a small private school, I saw myself lose some friends and gain others, while still having those few gems by my side through the entire 14-year ride, but seeing this progression taught me many things. There are always going to be people worth keeping around, but there are also those who we keep around for comfort and convenience. Throughout the years, I've seen my friends change and become their own better version of themselves and the last thing I want is to hinder them in that change. Also, I know that as I grew up, I wanted to be able to become my own person without influence from my friends. People change and that means that your friends do, too.

So, going into college, I want to have a fresh start. I want to meet new people. In a whole new intellectual environment, I will meet so many new people with new views, attitudes and intellectual thought. What's the point in going to college if you don't take advantage of that incredible opportunity — to not just learn within your classes, but within your new life and among your new friends?

Sometimes that requires leaving some people from your old life behind. They are going to change as well and your relative changes may not mix anymore — which is OK. College isn't just about learning; it's also about finding yourself. You can't do that with people from home always bringing you back into your old, less mature and exposed self. Sometimes, the huge group chat and the constant vibration of your phone takes you away from the new reality you're finding yourself in and sometimes hitting the "Do Not Disturb" button or shutting your phone off could benefit you.

I know, a world without a phone is hard, but picture this: you're sitting in your dorm room lounge and you're talking with your new friends, the people who will likely change your life over the next few years, but you're too busy on your phone enveloping yourself in your old life. Something funny happens and you miss all of it because you're clinging onto your old friends. Sometimes it's better to press pause on that old life, hit play on the new one and plunge into what could and should be the best experience of your life, the one you've prepared yourself for for the past 18 years.

Don't miss out on that because of the comfort or convenience of people from high school. Jump out of your comfort zone — you just might enjoy the fall.


Lead Image Credit: Corey Balazowich

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Danielle Newman - University of Pittsburgh

Danielle Newman is a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Bioengineering and plans on becoming certified in prosthetics and orthotics. Before college, she was the historian of her school’s student government. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @daniii_newman!

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