There is no easy answer to such a question as it varies a lot from person to person. Actually, college changes numerous things. It is usually the first experience young people have in their adult life when they are forced to step outside their comfort zones. As for me, those were the most eye-opening experiences of self-improvement that I have faced in my life. Stepping out of the comfort zone is not just important, it is totally critical for your development and future prospects.
With going to college, you entirely change your level of comfort. You do not see the places and faces you used to see in the childhood. You are not a hot-shot-senior in your home town anymore, but instead an 18-year-old freshman who walks around a big campus with hopes somebody from your floor will like to meet you at the dining hall.
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There are several key things, which will be different when you are in college. Here are some of them.
You learn what is actually important for you. Nobody is telling you how you should behave or what you have to do, it is your decision whether to fail or succeed.
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Usually, we find out who our friends are when we get to college. Colleges tend to make and break relationships, which seemed to be the second nature in previous convenient and comfortable life.
You need to learn to be satisfied with who you are and what you want when you start attending college. You are not in the same class with your friends and you are not in the place where you have already established an identity.
Most of us get into college with particular judgments, which we created growing up and many of them end up immediately disproved in college. You are now surrounded by new people with new behaviors, which opens your eyes and your mind to the differences we all possess. In college, you will learn to build much more empathy and understanding of other people.
Very often, students start attending college with one major and leave with another. In many cases, they change it several times, and then that major is not even what they end up graduating. You should not worry about it. All you have to do is to realize what you are passionate about and follow it. It is not a problem when the direction changes, just do what you like doing.
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To be honest, in college, everyone does some crazy stupid shit. It is just like a qualification for graduation that you make several mistakes, some of which are very laughable, and others are not. The fact is that you will also make some great decisions concerning friendship, study and ambitious strides towards who you are. During these several years, you will become much stronger and a more complex person. These experiences will greatly change you. They will make you that person you have to become, and that is the main thing college will change about you.