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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    How high school differs from college

    Click your ruby red Toms together three times and repeat, “There’s no place like high school, there’s no place like high school.”

    Dorothy was right. College is a completely different beast with starkly different values than those ingrained in high school. So start changing your mindset now.

    Throw away the idea of popularity. First of all, whoever coined the term “popular” was probably talking about themselves, which is conceited and self-absorbed. In college, “popular” people are replaced by social ones, who are open, outgoing, amicable and sincerely interested in others’ lives. Social people are attractive. A social person enjoys meeting all types of people regardless of their appearance, upbringing, income status or interests.

    Social people care about substance of conversation over the substances in your make-up. Social people thrive off of intellectual debate or witty humor, not immature jokes and caddy remarks. Social people can be extroverts and introverts. There is always a time for both. In college, don’t be afraid to let go of whatever is holding you back from being social.

    The University of Arizona is a premiere college destination for 40,000 other undergraduates from all over the United States, North America and across the globe. There is not a single individual with the same high school experience as you. It’s a chance to share, open up and learn about yourself and others.

    It will severely hinder your college experience if you only associate with similar individuals. College is about expanding your academic horizons and adding to your list of first-time experiences. So what if the girl that sits next to you in class looks like a complete freak? Be social, find out why she is the way she is. Half of the fun in college, besides parties and football games, is learning why people are the way that they are. To put it simply, what makes people tick. In the process, you will find out what makes you tick too.

    Try a yoga class with a new friend from the dorms, attend a new club meeting in the student union, start up a conversation with a stranger in a coffee shop or go to a new sporting event. Find out your passions and pursue them head on. Venture out of your norm and embrace new cultures.

    And lastly, be kind. Your friend count will skyrocket and more academic doors will open if you treat people with kindness. Professors will happily answer questions in office hours if you take a kind approach, peers will show the kind person respect, and employers will hire the kind employee.

    At the end of your four years at UA if you can be confident that you were social and kind to the fullest degree, then you have figured out the greater purpose of college.

    — Courtney L’Ecuyer is the perspectives editor. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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