College guppies swimming in sea of sharks

Going from high school to college is a huge milestone in a teenager’s life. And according to adults, they are the best years of our lives. That’s pretty hard to believe when you are bombarded with term papers and countless amounts of textbook reading.

As you step onto that huge campus for the first day, you are flooded by all of these emotions. Excitement, anxiety and nerves. Definitely nerves.

You never know what to expect. You can’t help but worry about what lies ahead of you. All of these questions are running through your head like “Are my professors going to be strict?” and “Am I going to get along with my peers?”

Going off to college and living in a dorm room is a whole different situation. It means that it’s time to fend for your self. It teaches you how to be independent and stand on your own two feet.

The main thought that enters a college freshman’s mind is imaging you stand out. It’s easy to think that everyone is staring at you and judging you. You feel like everyone just sees you as a little freshman, labeling you with just a glance.

But what many people forget when they go take their huge step into college, is that there are so many others like you. You’re not the only freshmen. There are other guppies in a sea of sharks.

Because that’s how it feels, right? Like you are just a little freshman that’s going to be eaten alive by the “big and scary” upperclassmen? What many college newcomers may forget is that everyone is there for the same reason you are. Everyone is there to expand their knowledge and prepare for the business world.

The number-one problem that freshman have is the fear of the unknown. You don’t know if you will get along with your peers and roommates, or if you will be able to handle the apparently “overwhelming” workload. But it means that you’re growing as a person and expanding your knowledge. You’re able to embark on this brand new journey. And yes it can be extremely nerve-wracking, but it’s all a part of growing up.

College may be harder, and it’s most likely a different atmosphere than you are used to, but it’s such a big step in your life. It means that you are getting ready to take on the world and all of the responsibilities that come along with it.

I may have just started college a week ago, but I already have a piece of advice for my fellow freshman: Take it one day at a time. Stressing and worrying over what may or may not happen in the future will only cause your downfall.

College may look scary and intimidating, but it will only benefit you in the future.

Nicole Caropolo, 17, a River Ridge High School graduate, is a Suncoast News correspondent.