This morning I was eating breakfast at my college dining hall and it hit me that I am a college student. When I say it hit me, I mean it HIT me with the mental weight of a freight train. This is the big leagues now. Pretty serious business.

When I was little I always thought of college as some sort of far off milestone. Now that the time is actually here it’s very overwhelming. I flew across the country from California to Massachusetts and now here I am at Wellesley College. I’m not going to lie; it’s been tough. It’s not easy to pack your life into a suitcase and fly almost 3,000 miles from home.

It’s so weird to not have to ask for permission to do things. You are treated like an adult. It’s cool to know that you are trusted to make your own decisions. I mean seriously it’s awesome. Back home I wasn’t allowed to eat junk food but over here… I have nobody to supervise me so indulge myself. I am gorging on all of the yummy food without care or reservation if it’ll make me pack on the infamous “Freshman Fifteen”.

That newfound freedom to do whatever you please extends in all different directions. I had to choose from a book that is about half an inch thick that listed all sorts of fascinating courses ranging from “Introduction to the Hindi language” all the way to “Gender Inequality”. In high school it’s the same dogmatic schedule year after year but in college you are presented with choices that you are actually happy about. I won’t have any problem buckling down to study for my classes because I am genuinely interested in them. I arranged my schedule so that I can have no classes on Monday. I basically gave myself a three-day weekend every week from now until the semester ends. Jealous?

It’s not just the freedom that you have to get used to. During Orientation I got a lot of things thrown at me. Things like having to share a room, meeting people from all over the world and, in my case, meeting a lot of people who matched Hermione Granger’s persona. Despite all of this, I haven’t had that much trouble getting comfortable and acclimated to the college environment. I learn new things little by little. For example; I didn’t know it was so HUMID in this place! I’m from the west coast so over in California there’s this hype that the New England area is a place doomed to perpetual freezing temperatures. Unfortunately it didn’t cross my mind to check what the weather was like in the summer. I’m being punished for my own laziness to check. Let that be a lesson to you all.

I’m still very new to the college setting but, from my understanding, college is what you make of it. The opportunities are there, trust me, the only difference is that you have to look for them. Those opportunities are not going to knock on your door and ask you if you want to take it. You’ve got to stay on your toes and be attentive.

I look forward to a challenging first semester. It will be a whole new different pace and to be quite honest, I am very nervous to see what it’s like. No worries though; this is a chance to reinvent myself. I’m going to give myself that chance.