This past weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time with my best friend, Lauchlan, that I've known since I was 11. We met at camp, and even though she lives in Chattanooga and I in Atlanta, we've managed to maintain our friendship ever since. But this time, instead of trekking up to Chattanooga, I flew to Charlottesville, Virginia to stay with her at the University of Virginia! I find that to be utterly and totally crazy, but in the best way possible. Crazy, in the sense that we've managed to stay as close as we have over the years, and a different type of crazy, in the sense that this was also a trip to experience college life before I attend one next year. And let me tell you, college life from the perspective of a high school senior is weird. And interesting. But mainly weird.
On the Lawn at UVA in front of the Rotunda!
First of all, I say that college life is weird because of the most obvious aspect: you live completely dependent on yourself, with no one to answer to, and with no "adults" keeping you in check. (I put adults in quotation marks since technically college students are adults, yet how can you feel grown up at 18??) The feeling of independence is much too real. You're in charge of your own life, and that's that. As simple as the idea may seem, it's odd to think that every decision you make is truly your own, affecting only your life.
We tried to hike, but it was raining, so we stopped at an overlook to take pictures with some of Lauchlan's friends!
I say that college life is interesting because of the simple spontaneity of it all. For example, on Saturday night, we ate dinner, and then went to an acapella concert, and then to an amazing dessert party that started at 10:30PM. I thought that that was a seemingly late start time, but, as it turns out, that's pretty normal for college time. Around 11:30, we were walking towards that dorms with a few of Lauchlan's friends, when we ran into some more people and proceeded to go to a restaurant until 1:30AM or so, a totally normal Saturday night. I guess the independence of college allows for spontaneity, since you decide what you want to do, and when, without many others telling you otherwise.
Loved my outfit from Saturday. You can't go wrong with a field jacket!
Another interesting aspect: practically everyone you meet is down for a conversation. The people I met were genuinely interested in talking and making new friends, if only for the night. This was a weird thing to experience coming from a high school perspective, since everyone, in my school at least, tends to keep to their own friend groups and strays off only when necessary. I assume that this comes from the fact that college students, especially freshmen, are always trying to grow their friend base, since you more or less have to start anew.
We stopped at a random Christmas tree farm on Sunday because, well, why not?
My stay at UVA was quite honestly completely different from anything I'd ever experienced before, mainly because of the newfound independence. I know I'm looking forward to creating my own schedule next year, and all the different parts that come with life away from home.