Growing up I fantasized about college. I wished away time year after year hoping I could inch closer to being in a world I had heard of from family friends and what I had seen in movies. I had formed in my head what college was like through media and books and social media. I thought that the second I went away to college, I would be older and wiser. I pictured college as a different world than the one I had grown accustomed to.

I don’t want to get things mixed up by making it seem as though my high school experience and childhood were not great. I had a great childhood and there are days that I even miss being in high school, such as being absent for days with no repercussions or little to no homework each day. I had a routine in high school and I got to be a kid, but like all coming-of-age stories, there comes a point where the end nears. After being in college for a year, I can 100% say that college is better than high school.

The day my parents dropped me off on campus, there were no tears shed and not because I didn’t think I would miss my parents, but because I was in a hurry to get to my sorority rush meeting. I had always pictured myself in a sorority growing up, it felt like a milestone I had to reach in my life after watching “Sydney White” or “Legally Blonde.”

As it seems, I wasn’t made for Greek life and I was dropped a few days later. This put a halt on the plan I had developed in my mind. For a few weeks after, I had a mix of emotions on this topic but now I hold no hostility for this. I have many friends in Greek life and would encourage anyone to rush if they were interested. I believe that it wasn’t the best fit for me and there was something else out there for me.

The thing about college is that if one thing you are interested in doesn't work out, there are many other options for a person to look into. There are numerous campus clubs, RSOs and organizations to get involved with, as well as activities that the university holds for students such as movie nights or speakers or even support groups. I joined Dance Marathon not knowing much about it and this year I am part of the executive team that will help run the organization. I even applied for a study abroad program on a whim and got in, so I am looking forward to that this summer.

There are an endless amount of things that college has that high school didn’t. This was a difficult change but I, like many of my friends, didn’t know how to get involved because there was so much to see and do. However, trying one or two new things a month helped me in getting involved and stepping out of my comfort zone.

As I have stated in past articles, I am an out of state student. I always told myself that I wouldn’t get homesick because my family would always be a phone call away. Despite this, around October I began feeling disconnected from my environment. I felt that I hadn’t found my footing and I missed having a route I was used to. I don’t know when I stopped feeling that sense of being in the unknown, but eventually I found myself in a new path. I started accepting the invitation to do things with my friends, I searched for local finds in downtown Lincoln and I found a new normal as well as an independence that I didn't have in high school.

Being in high school, I had a small amount of independence but I was also living under my parents’ roof and living out the last of my adolescence. However, I still feel that even though in legal terms I am an adult, I still have a lot to learn about responsibilities while in college.

In high school, I didn’t feel that I had a lot of responsibilities outside of school and extracurriculars, but coming to college was a major change. Now, being a college student, I feel that I am growing further from the person I was in high school. This is despite still calling my parents weekly for advice as I pace the University Suites’ laundry room for close to an hour while on the phone with them.

I can still say wholeheartedly that I think college is better than high school despite reflecting on my first hardships the past year. I will also say that there are a lot of times I dislike college due to hours upon hours of homework piling up or the stress of figuring out your life.

Four years seems like a lot of time to figure out what you want to do with your life, but as this year flew by, I can see why it doesn’t seem like a decent amount of time. I see college as a time in one's life to shift from who they were in high school and grow into the person they are becoming. In the past year, I have learned more about who I am and what opportunities are available to me. I have stepped out of my comfort zone by joining clubs, looked into studying internationally and focused on my interests.

Alexis Goeman is a freshman journalism major. Reach her at alexisgoeman@dailynebraksan.com.