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Personal Writing: The College Experience Essay, Research Paper

Personal Writing: The College Experience

The biggest adaptation I have had to make in my life was moving to

college. Not only was it totally different from high school in relation to the

content of classes and homework, but it was also completely different from my

home life. I was living on my own, with new surroundings and new people.

Needless to say, this was something like I had never experienced before.

Generally, college classes aren’t that much more difficult than high

school courses. The big difference is that in college I have to do all of my

homework outside of class. There’s no study hall in college. I have to take it

upon myself to get to the library if needed or ask the necessary questions.

Another big difference between high school academics and college academics is

the importance of the test. Unlike in high school, where daily assignments can

help to pad a grade, the main source of grading in college is the test. With

possibly only three tests per semester in certain classes, I am under a heavy

burden to do well on each test. Also, with all of the independence I now have,

homework and studying are not always my first priorities. I would much rather

spend time with my friends, watch television, or go to a party than do my

schoolwork. I have found that all the distractions that are present in college

life lead to procrastinating. There have been many times when I have put off

doing an assignment until the night before. It is obvious that as a college

student, I have had to adapt to a whole new style of learning.

Another thing that I have had to adapt to is living on my own. Since I

don’t have a curfew anymore, I feel more independent than I ever have before. I

no longer have to worry about coming home late or tell anyone where I’m going to

be. Coming home means going back to my own place instead of my parents’ house. I

don’t have to ask anybody if I can do this or that; I can, for the most part, do

what I want to do whenever I want. This can have both advantages and

disadvantages. Advantages are that I can do more than I have before and I can do

more experimenting and exploring. However, this could lead to problems, such as

with relationships and possibly even the police. As a rule, independence must be

handled very carefully.

Along with independent living comes yet another problem: effectively

managing my money. College costs are rising every year, while financial aid

becomes increasingly less. Spending for college must be carefully mapped out,

because if money is not spent wisely, I might not be able to afford the

necessary materials. I must buy books, pay registration and athletic fees, pay

phone bills, etc. If spent wisely, money can go a long way. To manage my money

more effectively, I opened a checking account so I know what my money is being

spent on. With my checking account, I am able to see where I can cut back on

spending, as well as how much money I have to spend.

College isn’t made up of all negative adjustments, however. In college I

got to meet many new people and make new friends. I thought it would be more

difficult to meet new people because I’m very shy and reserved, yet I was amazed

at how easy it was to talk to new people and get acquainted with them. Everybody

is in the same boat upon arrival at college; not too many people know each other,

and usually they are very willing to strike up a conversation to get to know

some people. I have thus far greatly enjoyed meeting new people and making new


I think I made the right choice by going to college. First off, with a

degree I am almost guaranteed an excellent job once I get done with college, so

I’d be ahead if I went to college just for that. But there are so many other

aspects of college, such as making new friends, being in a totally new

environment, and living independently, that will help me adapt to different

situations for the rest of my life.

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