As the season of college acceptances rolls around, and the class under the freshman class is starting to receive its acceptance letters, it makes me think a lot about last year and what’s different.

There were a lot of changes to adjust to, including class schedules, meeting new people, taking classes more relevant to a potential career, etc.

It is an exciting experience for anybody, and one that will have a big impact on my life.

Things change constantly in life, and there are large ones and small ones. The largest change, in my opinion however, was how much more responsible you are for everything in your life at college.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was not the most independent person at home.

I didn’t do my own laundry until arriving at Keene, nor was I used to having so much control over my time or deciding what I wanted to do versus what I had to do. This is all completely up to you in college.

You can do what you’re supposed to do: go to class, do the assigned work, and study, or you can slack off and just do nothing all of the time. This is completely up to you.

Nobody is breathing down your neck away from home to make you do your work. This pressure (or lack thereof) proves quite stressful to many students, and some can’t handle it.

According to a study reported by US News, around 30 percent of current college freshmen drop out during or after their freshman year.

This is due to a variety of reasons, the most prominent being excessive “partying” (drinking in excess, consumption of drugs, etc), choosing a school which wasn’t a good fit, or lack of completion of assigned work. All can be related back to making choices.

Having the ability to do what you want is often an understated danger in coming to college, and as mentioned previously, not everyone can handle the opportunity and responsibility of making these choices.

This isn’t to say that having all these choices and all the given responsibility is a bad thing, however.

Many students flourish and enjoy being on their own and being responsible for their choices.

That is a major part of life and a major part of being considered an adult in today’s society. It’s a big part of being ready to join the workforce.

While working at a career of your choice, nobody is going to sit you down and not let you go outside and play with your friends until homework is done.

If you don’t do what you are expected to do for work, than you lose your job and source of income, simple as that.

Making the shift to be completely responsible for your own dealings is definitely the biggest change I have experienced since arriving at college.

I did receive a lot of assistance with both the application and finalization process while still at home, while meanwhile months later, I completely dealt with next year’s housing and class schedule without even a thought about asking for help.

It’s a big shift in just the mindset of how you do things, as well as how much effort you put in, and how much of the reward you reap as your own.

This was all part of molding students into good workers, and honestly it feels good to experience that level of investment with every choice you make.


Dave Padrazo can be contacted at

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