Throughout my college experience, I have changed and grown so much as a person. Although I am technically graduating this year, I am really a junior based on how many years I have been at school. Because I am finishing school faster than average, I sometimes feel like I have not had as much time to process my transition between high school, college, and adult life. So, I was curious to see in what ways others have changed throughout their college experience and see if an extra year would have made a difference in how I am approaching my transition into the working world. Hopefully, my findings will be helpful to anybody else considering a non-conventional approach to college.
A Bit About Me
If you did not see my story in the first part of this series, let me catch you up. I was homeschooled my entire life which allowed me to attend dual enrolled classes in my last two years of high school. I actually had enough college credit under my belt to enter college as a sophomore. Long story short, I did not transfer in, so I entered Grove City College as a freshman, but am graduating a year early. As my time at college draws to a close (I am graduating May 2021) I was curious to see how other student’s perspectives about school, college, and life have changed over time.
Asking Others to Share Their Stories
I reached out to some sophomores to help me answer this burning question: How has your perspective changed over your time as a college student? I wanted to know if they were roughly at the same stage I was at last year. Rachel Gray, an Elementary and Special Education major, told me that she has changed her major many times over her two years here. That often happens and can be a beautiful sign of change and growth in a person. Often when you graduate high school you are expected to know exactly what you want to do with your life but don’t actually know enough about yourself to decide.
Another sophomore, Emily Adams, a Computer Science major, answered my question a bit differently. She said, “I had grown up in high school, so I came here already grown.” This is a beautiful statement that many people probably haven’t felt comfortable enough to say, but it doesn’t minimize the importance of growth at all stages.
Nicole Switzer, a Music Education major, said that her “classes and homework assignments have helped me figure out more exactly of what I want to do when I graduate.” She had this piece of advice for prospective students, “Don’t be afraid to get involved!” She is so correct. Getting involved opens so many doors to experiences you never thought you’d have.
Lydia Joyner, a Biology/Health major with a BARS minor (Bachelor of Arts in Religion) reflected on her experiences. “It’s is definitely harder than I thought it would be—academically, emotionally, mentally, etc. It can be exhausting for me to try to keep up with all of the things happening. School is hard. Relationships, even with people you love, can be hard. Being away from home can be hard. But there are also really great things about college. I wasn’t expecting to make such good friends so quickly. I can honestly say that I’ve met my best friends here and have had the best experiences here.” I can say the same thing, Lydia! I love my friends here at college. College is an amazing opportunity to meet people you never thought you would meet.
Ellianna Fry, an Entrepreneurship major, says that while she did not have any specific ideas about what she wanted to do, she has been extremely happy as an entrepreneurship student. And while switching from high school to college was initially more challenging than she thought, Ellianna would not change her experience.
Finally, Elanor Lambert, a Biology/Health major, realized that while she initially thought she wanted to be an OBGYN, she realized that she preferred the privacy of the lab work she has been doing. College is such a good way to test out what you like and do not like. She spent a lot of time talking to professors, other doctors, and panels to help her make her decision. Finally, she said that she feels more “grown up” in some ways since leaving high school and not in others. And that is ok! College is an excellent time to try things out, figure out more about yourself, and enjoy the experience!
Although all of these students are on track for a four-year graduation date, all of them have learned a lot from going to college and experiencing new things. If you are considering college, Grove City College is an excellent place to try new and exciting experiences with new friends. Take the advice of these sophomores and do not be afraid to get involved; you never know what you might find.