No one told me about one of the biggest adjustments I’d have to make in college, and I can understand why. It’s not as easy to spot as class size or difficulty level. In fact, I went largely unaware of the change for the entire first semester, though there was that nagging feeling lingering in the back of my brain. Still, it wasn’t until I started to get off campus and out into Columbus that the change hit me square in the face.
Here’s the idea: in high school, school was just a place; in college, school is everything. I know this sounds like I’ve teamed up to write a piece with Rear Admiral Obvious, but bare with me. In high school I spent numerous hours dreading the next day of school. I dreaded driving to school. I dreaded sitting in the classroom. I dreaded the heat in the old building and the cold in the new. All of my dread located around one unifying place: the building. If I wanted to escape thoughts of school or shirk my responsibilities all I had to do was avoid driving down Route 50. As they say, out of sight out of mind.
But that just doesn’t work when you live in a building owned and operated by your school. Going back to your dorm doesn’t help alleviate thoughts of school. If anything, it makes them worse. Why am I here “relaxing” in my dorm when I should be chest deep in work at the library? Everything I do is entangled with college. Everywhere I go is scarlet and grey and stamped with the Block O. Even my weekends belonged to Ohio State
Making this realization was crucial to my surviving of college. Before, I would let the doubt and uncertainty of my classes vex me even as I attempted to relax on a Saturday. Now, I take a second to remind myself that just because class is everywhere it doesn’t mean that class is everything. And yes, there are Saturdays that I spend more time in my work than in my pjs, but those are not the majority, and those are no longer the mentality. Learning how to rest and enjoy myself in an environment that begs you to never stop has been, and continues to be, my biggest adjustment since moving to college.