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Why The Worst Part Of College Is Something You Can’t Prepare For

When I decided it was a good idea to pack up my life and move halfway across the country for college, I was apprehensive, scared and generally nervous.

What if I didn’t make the friends everyone promised me I would make? What if I don’t get along with my roommate or end up hating the major I choose? What if these aren’t the best four years of my life? What if college is not for me?

After about two weeks and my first college party, I realized I was crazy for doubting college would be anything less than amazing.

Four years later, there is a whole list of new worries that plague my every thought. I am slowly realizing that the only question my high school senior self should have had was, “What if college is the greatest four years of my life and I make better friends than I ever thought possible?”

What do I do when it starts to come to an end, and I have to cope with the idea of leaving this incredible place to enter the real world? The horrible truth nobody ever tells you about college is this: College ends.

You spend four years living within 15 minutes of all your best friends; even your acquaintances make you smile when you see them. You spend four years within walking distance of your favorite campus bar and morning coffee spot.

Four years running into your campus crush, your most inspiring professor, your sorority sisters or fraternity brothers and your best friends. Then, all of a sudden, in the middle of your senior year, it ends.

Suddenly, you have to decide what you want to do with your life, and immediately, you realize that you have to somehow leave this incredible home you made for yourself. That is the horrible truth for which no one will prepare you.

Maybe this truth isn't as awful for the people who decided to go to college close to home, but for those of us who traveled from far away, it's terrifying.

We now have to make a decision: Return home and leave behind our college life, or continue to live in the city where we chose to attend school and hope things remain the same?

The truth is, even if we stay, things will never be the same.

There will be no more awkward encounters at the library with the boy to whom you drunkenly gave your number the night before (and yes, you will miss those), no more slumber parties on the couch with your roommates on any given weeknight and no more last-minute text messages about grabbing lunch between classes.

Everyone prepares you for the scary things, like financial responsibility, bills, taxes and big girl and boy jobs outside of college, but nobody warns you about the loss you will feel when you no longer live within walking distance of the people with whom you spent every waking moment for the past four years.

You hear that you will make your best of friends in college, but nobody reminds you that one day, those friendships will have to exist outside of your college apartment, outside of late-night cuddle sessions after a hard week and outside of the easy access to one another.

Nobody prompts you to ask the question, “What happens next with our friends?”

I spent the last four years building a savings account, interning at companies that will hopefully lead to a career and trying to remember every single word my professors spoke so I will one day (maybe) be qualified to hold a real job.

But, I haven't been thinking about how my college relationships will translate into the real world. As a senior, I should probably still be worried about all those things.

Blame it on senioritis or blame it on the pure exhaustion from finals week, but now, the only thing on which I can focus my worries is how my relationship with my best friends will change when we move out of our apartment come May.

How will I make it through the day without three-minute dance parties to Taylor Swift and midday espresso shots in order to ensure we all make it to bowling league that night?

I am proud to have such incredible friends who will be off to bigger and better things at the end of the year and who will no doubt conquer the world in some way or another, but I wish somebody would have told me how scary the idea of saying goodbye to my college life would be.

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Kelsey Hau

Contributor

Kelsey Hau is a recent graduate of Marquette University, living and working full time in Milwaukee, WI. She believes all problems in life can be cured with forehead kisses, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Barefoot Pinot Noir, and life chats with her ...
Kelsey Hau is a recent graduate of Marquette University, living and working full time in Milwaukee, WI. She believes all problems in life can be cured with forehead kisses, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Barefoot Pinot Noir, and life chats with her ...

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