Like most other 18-year-olds in their senior year of high school, I viewed college as a way of escape.
I was tired of my hometown and despised everything about it: the absence of diversity, the abundance of gossip and the simple fact that there was absolutely nothing to do. I’m not lying when I say that walking to Dairy Queen was one of the more exciting activities to participate in.
Simply put, I lived in a bubble, and the only way of breaking through it was by choosing a school that was far away.
When I started researching colleges based on my major, distance didn’t matter to me; in fact, at one point I considered going to a university that was more than nine hours from my house.
Although I did not end up there, I liked my final decision – Mercyhurst put a solid two and half hours between me and my birthplace. That way, I wouldn’t have to worry about any surprise visits.
Once I moved in, I took advantage of my newly-acquired freedom: I partied on the weekends, didn’t go to sleep until one or two in the morning and rarely called home. In my opinion, I was “living the life.”
It took a few weeks for me to realize that I didn’t deserve to consider myself an adult. In that short span of time, I had already made several decisions that demonstrated my lack of responsibility and maturity. All too quickly, I took my independence to an unnecessary level – one that I will steer clear of in the future.
Now only about a month into my freshman year, I am pleased that I did not decide to distance myself farther from my family. Had they been more than the current 150 miles away, I may not have been able to get past my most recent mistake.
It is true that college is a time for growing up and enjoying our exemption from control. However, we should not take this opportunity for granted. Trust me – I’m one to know.