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By TRACY KOENN’18

STAFF COLUMNIST

When I was a simple plebeian, or freshman, on campus, this strange place became one where I fumbled with how to print essays, actually bought all of my books for my classes, and thought it was a cardinal sin to sit alone in the caf at meals. I’m sure plenty of you bright-eyed freshmen can attest to these similar dilemmas.

Yet now that I am a senior, I feel like the impending doom of adulthood is putting every trivial college problem into perspective. I can regrettably admit I did not get my textbooks until last week via ishare. I am five times busier than any of you freshmen on this campus, yet I know my anxiety about completing assignments is subliminal in comparison to yours.

Essentially, my outlook on the hustle and bustle to the first few weeks on campus has changed between now and when I was a naïve freshman.

As a freshman in college where you are not trapped in a classroom for seven hours like you were in the terrible place that is high school, everything is new and fresh and just great. You have all of this newfound free time on your hands! If you are a good little student, then you use part of that time to actually do homework, too.

You’re fresh-faced and ready to tackle the exciting idea of quasi-adulthood that is the college experience. You get just the right amount of independence that makes you feel like you’re the alpha dog in your life now (you’re not).

But as a senior in college, you reflect on all that you have experienced within the last few years, and you notice things from a more mature perspective. I have no idea when I finally “grew up” in college, but I now know how to handle a lot more than I did as a freshman. I don’t freak out about juggling my work, classes, and friends. On the other hand, I still panic and write a 10-page essay in one night before it’s due (this is not a healthy habit).

To sum up, college teaches you finessing skills for days; but in addition, college teaches you a lot more than that. Any senior here can attest to the fact that they have changed and grown significantly. We’ve all gone through major highs and lows. However, we’ve found friends that we can complain with in the caf at the end of the day. We’ve made connections with professors or faculty that will help us plan our futures. We may either be 500 percent ready for the real world, or we may want to live in this fake world of college forever.

But, at the end of the day, we’re heading into a world that will be as new and confusing as college once was for us as freshmen.

Tracy Koenn can be reached at koenntm@lakeforest.edu

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