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Alterations make for a better fit at college

College is a time for growth and exposure to new ideas, experiences, and people. It's important to find what fits you best and make small alterations along the way. (Northern Review photo/Nathan Grizenko)

College is a time for growth and exposure to new ideas, experiences, and people. It's important to find what fits you best and make small alterations along the way. (Northern Review photo/Nathan Grizenko)

Going into college, I told myself to be wary of influences that would jeopardize my morals and views on life. I had this impression that I wouldn’t change as a person or stray from my current beliefs and values for fear I would lose sight of my dreams and goals.

But college doesn’t work that way, and even by the second semester of my freshman year, I’ve found myself thinking differently—thinking in ways I have never thought before.

It’s been just over six months since I left home and came to ONU. Since I’ve been here, I’ve changed. I wouldn’t say they’ve been substantial changes, but they've been small alterations. They make my skin fit a little better, and I feel more comfortable being myself.

For students in college, exposure is key in achieving the “college experience.” As students, we’re exposed to new friends, teachers, clubs, habits, lifestyles, beliefs, and cultures.

New relationships and opportunities stretch our limits, and we often find ourselves seeing the world in a different light even after four short years. Did your personality change throughout high school? Chances are it did. And I’m sure college hasn’t been any different.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve found myself being exposed to a variety of personalities…some good, some bad. But regardless of whether I found them attractive or not, they taught me a valuable lesson.

There are people who come from many backgrounds with different beliefs and cultures; we can learn something from every one of them. I’ve learned to be more tolerant of those beliefs and cultures, even if they conflict with my own.

Many people have and will discover their true passions here. In college, you’re supposed to expand your knowledge and interests to become a well-rounded individual.

Going into college, I knew I wanted to minor in something. I read several articles, hoping for advice as to how I should choose. A few told me to pick something that would suit my interests and allow me to take a break from my major’s coursework. Others suggested I choose a minor that would compliment my major. I wanted the best of both worlds, so after much pondering and second-guessing, I decided on a multimedia journalism minor.

Needless to say my interests have changed as I am in the process of declaring a minor in sociology instead. Having never taken sociology before, I was a little unsure of what to expect going into a class titled "Sociology of Mental Health and Illness" this semester.

I guess that’s the beauty of college. We’re exposed to new challenges, new obstacles that pull us outside our comfort zone, and sometimes that exposure is enough to strike a spark and ignite an unknown passion. I felt that this minor would fit well with my career goal to become an occupational therapist, and I look forward to going to class everyday.

College also creates unknown stresses. I never thought taking tests, getting to class on time, or finding time to sleep would be so worrisome. As a high-school student, I was always stressing about getting the highest grade in class or having a perfect GPA.

I never thought college would change that mentality, but it did. I’ve learned to worry less about the grade I receive and more about the knowledge I retain. If I get a B on an exam, I have to accept that B and keep moving forward. I dread the day I will receive a D or F, but I have to remind myself that college and high school aren’t the same. I’m supposed to be challenged, and as long as I try my best, the grade isn’t indicative of my future success.

Life would not be enjoyable if we didn’t learn and grow as people. College is changing me for the better each and every day, so I implore you to expose yourself to the countless opportunities, and make small alterations that fit you.