Freedom after high school

by Rachel Fechser

Is going to college really the ‘biggest decision of our lives’ to date?  I believe it probably is, because we are molded by the next few years ahead of us and are supposed to discover what we want to do with our futures.

I think it’s important because it’s how we spend a very valuable yet passionate period of our life in college. From the ages of 18 to 22, we are learning and growing into adults by making decisions for ourselves, and for that reason I believe in the significance of college. These are years that define us. Some would say we completely transform into new people.

But do we really want to spend our ‘prime’ in a classroom? These are the years we feel most alive and are encouraged to follow our dreams. We haven’t lost hope in humanity and haven’t developed into cynical, old realists yet. We are still striving, eager students soaking up all the experience we can.

I remember receiving my high school diploma and feeling like I had really succeeded. I had completely followed through and finished something I was dedicated and truly invested in. But I suppose I didn’t really look as the end of an era but more of a beginning.  

I spent four years of high school living in dorm rooms with strict rules and the deans breathing down my neck, so naturally I craved freedom.  I thought graduating was finally the start to my version of freedom.

But much of college is an extension of high school. Why can’t I spend these years following my dreams or really discovering what makes me feel alive?  I am anxious to absorb all of what life has to offer before I get stuck in this American dream of doing better than my parents and ‘succeeding’ in our society.  

I find true happiness when I feel like I have accomplished and succeeded in certain aspects of my life. I think it is really important to understand that an American’s way of life isn’t the average way we live. And we can’t possibly learn that from a text book. 

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