Top 5 Ways You Will Change in College

Two bicyclists riding in front of the Richard Woodcock Education CenterThe password to download is wou Richard Woodstock Education Center on the grounds at Western Oregon University

Most high school graduates believe they have a pretty good grasp on who they are, what’s important to them and what beliefs they hold dear. But ask any college graduate, and he or she will tell you how much they changed while in school. In this case, change is a good thing! Here are some ways in which you will change in your new environment.

You will change some of your viewpoints

In your hometown and high school, you may have been surrounded by people just like you, with the same priorities and opinions about most things. However, the students on a college campus come from all walks of life, and when you meet friends with differing priorities and opinions, you’ll have the opportunity to look at things from an alternate angle. That’s not to say that ALL your viewpoints will change, just that you will able to appreciate where others are coming from better than when you enrolled.

You will become a skeptic

One of the main skills college professors work to instill in students is the ability to think critically. That doesn’t mean being a nay-sayer about everything, it simply means you can analyze “facts” and examine ideas more deeply. You will start to understand what people’s motivations might be. Instead of believing everything someone tells you, you’ll become like a detective who can look for clues to their messages’ meaning. This skill will serve you well in the workforce as you find your own voice and find the confidence to present new ideas.

You will find independence

Though being on your own can seem scary at first, it eventually will help you grow into your new selfhood. You can set your own schedule, pursue your passions, think new thoughts and learn not to care so much about what other people think. Oh, and you’ll learn to do your own laundry and make your own meals. You will start to see how high school drama was pretty unimportant, and you might grow apart from some friends back home. That’s OK. You’re making lifelong friends at college.

You’ll get better at “adulting”

Gaining “adult” skills goes farther than just learning how to fold a fitted sheet or how to pack everything you own into a tiny car. In college you will get better at self-advocating—speaking up when you feel something isn’t right or when you want to effect a change. You can take charge of your life instead of having someone dictate it for you. You will learn to understand the importance of money and how to stretch it. And you’ll start taking actions on your own, without being told to get moving.

You will prepare for the workforce

The whole reason you are at a university is to prepare for your career. But entering the workforce is more than writing a resume and landing a job. You will also learn how to take direction from a boss, how to work on a team and how to communicate with adults and peers in a professional setting. Even seemingly minor things like learning how to make small talk will be vital to fitting in at a job. Take every chance you get while on campus to gather professional development skills. You’ll be glad you did.

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