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A Teen's View

College

Olivia Sielaff

"When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things" (1 Corinthians 13:11).

(11/2011) So here I am, exactly one month into my first semester as a college student. In some ways I feel like Iíve grown up in this short amount of time; and in other ways, Iím the same person just set in a different environment. When reflecting on the theme for us incoming freshman, I at first thought itís obvious that I have to "put aside childish things" and become an adult. Of course I canít sleep in until ten oíclock as often and clearly I will have to think more seriously about the next four years ahead of me. Obviously college does not instantly form me into a reasonable, young adult, where my schedule will fall perfectly into place, and I will make all the right decisions for my future. No more acting like a child. Ok, I got this.

On the ride here to Franciscan University, I pictured myself hunched over my desk studiously working away while my laundry is, hopefully, washing and Iím confident about that upcoming test. Thankfully itís worked out this way. (Donít worry Mom, this actually does happen. And yes, I am studying.) After being all settled into my dorm with my roommate and getting used to my class schedules, I have the hang of managing my time for homework, daily Mass, friendsÖand laundry. There was only one time I was late for class because I overslept. That will never happen again. But otherwise, Iím learning a lot about what it means to be more reasonable and responsible. For instance, Iíve realized that staying up socializing until 1am on just a latte will not put me in a good mood the next morning when I still have homework due before class. Also, throwing two loads of laundry into one dryer to save money does just that, except dry my clothes. However, meeting with a career counselor about my future was a good idea. And living with a roommate has helped me recognize my habits and how to be mindful of others in the dorm. Iím definitely getting used to working out all the little responsibilities I took for granted when living at home. Iím actually enjoying the fact that I have to make decisions for myself, manage my time, and work on being a young adult. So yes, my vision of me being cool, calm, and collected while juggling all that college demands is starting to become clearer.

But what about the other part of the quote concerning childish ways. Does that mean when I played Duck, Duck, Goose with some friends or when we rode my rolling chair up and down the hall that I was reverting back to being a child? Probably. But whatís college without a little diversion? So my friends and I had an impromptu swing dancing party in the dorm. And some of us girls re-enacted the scene from The Parent Trap when the twins pierce their ears (my ears are already pierced, thank goodness). One of my friends, while playing Duck, Duck, Goose, said "Ya know. I always thought when I was younger that people in college were all grown-up and like adults." Itís true! Even though I have more things to take care of and think about, college doesnít automatically make me an adult. Iíve seen just in the last month that itís a process I have to devote myself to. I canít skimp on taking care of my education and myself. But I also canít skimp on developing my character and building new friendships.

This is what it all comes down to for me. Putting aside childish things doesnít necessarily mean not having a good time with friends. It means that I need to begin reasoning like an adult. Make good decisions. Choose the right friends. Commit to my studies. Now at the start of my college life is when I have to begin the process of growing up. Just after I go swing dancing tonight and stay up late, of course. Itís ok, Mom, Iíll get enough sleep.

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