By Beshoy Shokralla
When I was in the 8th grade, I couldn’t imagine how the world would be when I graduated. For some strange reason, I just literally couldn’t imagine my life in high school. I actually thought the world would probably end before I had a chance to start high school, but it didn’t. When it came to graduating from high school, I felt the same feeling. What would life be like in college? Would I change? Would I even live long enough to experience it? What if the world ended right before college started? Well as it turned out, I’m still very much alive, and the world hasn’t come to an end, so perhaps a few reflections about college life are in order.
First, I’ve learned that college students at NJIT are a lot more open to conversing with their classmates, even if they have never met before, in comparison to high school. Maybe it has to do with everyone sharing the anxiety of making new friends, but I’ve found that a vast majority of college students at NJIT, including myself, feel more comfortable striking up conversation. In my short time here, I’ve had so many stimulating and interesting conversations, on topics ranging from the complexities of society and government, to simpler things such as where the best place on campus to get food (answer is always the food truck). Also, thanks to clubs like Nucleus Yearbook and the Game Club, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a wide range of students, and make some really good friends along the way. The importance of joining a club in college cannot be overstated. Being part of something like the school yearbook, or just group of gamers, really helps keep you in constant interaction with other students and feeling more connected to the university.
Secondly, I’ve learned that in a way, having additional freedom and independence can be challenging. I remember in high school I used to hate it when teachers would keep me after class ended just to remind me about some silly assignment that was obviously due the next day. Now, I wish my professors would do precisely that. Having so much free time on my hands, with minimal restriction on how I can spend my spare time, has been one of the most stressful things ever. Time management is no joke. I’ve missed three assignments so far in this semester, not because I was too lazy to do them, but because I literally forgot they were even due. Between four different classes, two clubs, a job on campus, and church responsibilities on the weekends, remembering things has become a serious issue for me. I’ve actually had to resort to using a planner just to keep track of all assignments, meetings, and events. Thank goodness they provided us with one during orientation.
Finally, I’ve learned that more than anything else, college is a perilous adventure, full of obstacles, challenges, and situations which test our ideologies. I’ve already changed my position on a few issues, changed my major, and changed my attitude on life, and am sure I will continue to change until I finish figuring out who I am. Change is a difficult thing, but it is inevitable, and more than that, it can be good. George B. Shaw once said that “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their mind cannot change anything.” When the winds of change come for you, don’t shy away, as it can go a long way.
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