Independence At College

Coming into my freshman year at Western Washington University I didn’t know what it would be feel like to be on my own. Like most college freshman, I lived with my parents my whole life. So, moving out and being 120 miles away from my home would be a weird feeling. None of my friends from back home decided to go to school here at Western Washington University either. So, after moving in I was truly on my own. But being in a dorm it’s easy to make new friends, since a lot of the other residents were in the same situation as I was. But besides not having my friends I grew up with around me, there was still the fact that my parents weren’t around me. Moving into college was a weird experience, and a lot of people who went to college can relate to that. So, then I thought, what is it like for other freshman to be independent and on their own at college?

To be independent for the first time is a weird feeling for a lot of us. And a lot of us handle being on our own differently. Being a freshman living in a dorm I meet a lot of other freshman almost every day. I meet other students who struggle being on their own. For example, a friend of mine didn’t even know how to do his own laundry when he moved here. His roommate had to teach him how to do it. And after almost finishing a quarter of college he finally figured out how to do things on his own. And there are a lot of other freshman here at Western that probably had the same issue when moving in. Being on your own at college can teach you a lot about being an adult really fast.

My personal experience moving into college wasn’t too terrible. Growing up my parent’s kind of expected me to do a lot of things on my own. I’ve been doing my own laundry for a few years now. My mom taught me how to cook. When it came to academics my parents just expected me to do good in school and it worked out. I got good grades and did well in school just based off self-determination. And there are a lot of people who could probably relate to that. So, transitioning into college was a smooth transition for me. But obviously, some things are different. Now I don’t have a curfew on week nights, and I don’t have any true responsibilities beside my academics.

So being independent for me gives me more freedom than I used to have. But that freedom can also have its negatives. For example, a person in my building who I know doesn’t go to class anymore. All he does is stay up late at night playing video games. He hasn’t gone to class in weeks. He doesn’t even know when his finals are. This person is an example of how too much freedom can negatively impact you.

Also, being at college without our parents gives us opportunities to party and drink, as well as use drugs. In a study done by Villanova University, 80% of college freshman drink alcohol. That’s 8 in 10 students. That’s really high number when you think about it. And obviously drinking has a negative impact on everybody.

So, based off my observations I came to the conclusion that being on your own for the first time can both positively impact and negatively impact you. This freedom can be overwhelming and cause you to make poor decisions. Or it can help you mature as a person and get things done on your own. It’s all up to how we as students want to adjust to college life.