What It’s Really Like to be Away for College

This post is kinda ironic since I am on spring break this week, but it has definitely been on my mind, due to one specific reason. Last week, my high school was in sectional play for boys basketball. They were down by one, and in the final second, a senior made a full-court buzzer-beater shot. (if you have not seen it yet, watch it here)

It was an absolutely incredible shot! I was so proud of my boys and the work they did. However, I felt a slight twinge of sadness that was extremely selfish. I did not get to see that shot in person. I had been there through so much and seen so much, but I missed the one shot that made the news. Yes, I know that was selfish of me. I wished mo ill on my team, but it definitely got me thinking.

The thing is, you miss stuff when you are away. That is an obvious statement, but it is still important. A lot of the cheerleaders this year wanted me to come back to cheer with them, but obviously I could not. I had obligations to fulfill in Muncie as a college student. Since I am away in Muncie most of the time, I do not see everything that goes on in my high school. I like to joke that I have eyes and ears everywhere. While that is true to an extent, I do still miss some things. I do not see the majority of the day to day happenings.

When I first went away to college, I was nervous about where my loyalties would lie. I knew I would be a Cardinal, but I was not sure what would happen to how I feel about my high school. Would I no longer cheer them on? Would I choose my high school over my college? I had no idea what to expect.

Well, I got to college, and I met several people from every walk of life. Most of them had never heard of my high school, which is exactly what I expected. However, my loyalty to my high school did not die. I did my best to keep up with the happenings of my high school. After all, a lot of the people there are like family to me (small high school makes you establish much deeper connections). I continued to cheer them on just as much as I cheered my college. When I was home, I went to big games that happened to fit in my schedule, such as soccer sectional championships, homecoming, and a basketball sectional game.

Throughout those games and watching that breathtaking shot, I came to a realization. It did not matter where I went or any other teams I would support. I am always going to be a Charger. My heart will still break when they lose big important games, but it will also cheer them on with every victory. Being away at college and becoming a Cardinal has only expanded my identity, not changed it.

Now, please do not get me wrong. College is better in just about every way than high school. Classes, friends (most of them), other people you may not call friends… I could go on and on. I do not regret my four years in high school, but I have no desire to return as a student. However, I know college has changed me and improved me. I am more independent (which is really saying something), I work hard to do well in my classes (whereas in high school, most of it just came naturally),  I enjoy time with my friends more, and I know I have improved in general. College has been what I needed.

All in all, when I’m away for college, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. I am continuing my life and pursuing my dream. I get to hear all the good things and do not have to deal with most of the drama associated with high school. And while I am now a Cardinal, and who knows where my career will take me as a teacher to support my students, I am now and always a Charger, and that will never change. I do not feel as though I am missing anything from high school. I had an extremely full four years, and I have done what I needed to. So I have moved on with my life and am doing bigger and better things.

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