Me…The College Years

16 Jul

What was my college experience like? In a word, atypical.

While most people I know went away to college, or at the very least had the unpleasant experience of living in the dorms, I stayed home. I lived in my parent’s house. I drove my car to and from school. I worked. In fact my senior year of college I was working full time and taking 18 credit semesters. I didn’t go to frat parties on the weekends, in fact my first experience with Greek life didn’t come until late in my senior year and it wasn’t even at the same school I attended.

I went to my local branch of Penn State. I was a business major, and at the time I was there, I was one of the younger people in the major. Most of the people studying business were older and were already working “real” jobs. With a student body made up of so many working folks, they held most of the business classes in the evenings after most people would be out of work. Being with and working so closely to people who where already out there in the “real world” made my college experience unique from that of my friends who were around peers their own age. I not only learned from my professors, I learned a great deal from other students who were able to shed some light on something I knew very little about…The working world.

Not unlike my high school days, I was a bit of a social butterfly. Much like my high school days I walked around like my shit didn’t stink. I had even picked up a nickname in my time at Penn State. I was known to some on campus as Cell Phone Girl, because I was rarely ever seen outside of class without the phone pressed to my head. If there’s a link between brain tumors and cell phone use I’m sure I’ve got a whopper up there.

A few days back I mentioned how I barely squeaked my way out of high school and college was where I kind of hit my stride. I was so much more engaged in what I was learning in college. Everything was so much more interesting. I would have thought that by not having teachers breathing down my neck to get stuff done (like in the high school days) that I would have failed miserably. If someone wasn’t staying on top of me to work how was I going to do it? Honestly, I don’t remember what I did, but I know I did well. For a girl who barely graduated high school to graduate college with a B average isn’t too bad. That reminds me, I’m pretty sure I shared how I was put on academic probation my freshman year. Well, after my first semester it was lifted and all the advisors were scratching their heads as to why I was on probation in the first place.

I wasn’t envolved in any clubs, I’m sure there were clubs available, but none I took an interest in. Between going to school, working and my social calendar, I stayed plenty busy. I didn’t play any sports there either. As a branch campus, there really wasn’t much available to play anyway.

Looking back now, more than nine years since my graduation, my college experience was exactly what I needed it to be. I don’t usually get along with other women, and that was even more true when I was younger. I’m a modest person who wouldn’t have done well with common bathrooms in dorms. I needed to still be under the watchful eye of my parents so I would stay out of trouble long enough to graduate. I wanted to have my car with me, which wasn’t going to happen if I went away. I did well in college, and I attribute my unconventional experience with that. Do I have regrets that I didn’t go away? Sure, I’ll always wonder what it’s like to live on my own (I left my parent’s house for an apartment with Bill). I am sometimes resentful of some of the college stuff that I didn’t get to experience, but I know I did what was best for me.

Me & my family after graduation (I ditched my cap and gown)

Me & my family after graduation (I ditched my cap and gown).

See what college was like for the other campers.

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