It’s a crazy transition. People talk about how when you let girls out from a boarding school to college, and they lose their sense in the face of overwhelming freedom. Well, I beg to differ. Of course, many things improve. The hope of love. Ahh. A welcome difference. But, it seems to be that we’re more accustomed to freedom than most of the day boarders out there. We’ve made our big choices already. The lack of parental supervision exposed us to underage drinking and well, many ahh underage diversions early on in life.
So it isn’t the freeflowing alcohol or the easily available drugs keeping us awake at night (most of the nights anyway), it is the beauty of seeing two people in love everywhere. It is the heady combination of autumn leaves and young love. It is the hope of finding that one person who helps you discover yourself. You know how they always say you discover your personality in college. Well, it is that possibility of knowing that someone out there will give you the confidence to be who you are.
Well, in order to convert that hope into reality you have to allow yourself to interact with all sorts of boys, as much as you are comfortable hanging out with your girlfriends. With that self enforced interaction comes the natural awkwardness instilled in you by years of inadequate interaction with the opposite gender. So, there comes the dilemma. Am I being too clingy? If I tell him he looks nice, will he assume I’m hitting on him? What does he mean by this?
How the f*** do I be myself around him? You become so conscious about how this boy is going to interpret your words and actions because of you’re clueless about the male psyche and functioning.
Another dilemma is your interpretation of everything boys do around you. A nice gesture by any boy can have you convinced that he’s in love with you. Too much male attention kinda freaks you out, which is why you’re quick to brozone or cut off any guy that gets too close.
Your standards are HIGH. It will take a hell of a guy to make you fall in love. This is because your ideal male partner is not shaped by reality but by epic romantic novels and chick flicks full of six feet muscle. So, you won’t pay any attention to guys that are average at best, even if you might look like an ogre.
It takes a while for you to be accustomed to the idea of a guy friend. You know, a guy version of a girlfriend. How can I open up like THAT to a boy? But you get there.
Then there are all the issues that don’t involve guys.
Firstly, a sophisticated proper boarding school does not prepare you for the wild public playground a college is. So, the first week hits you hard. You’re constantly judging your “improper”, “uncultured” batch mates from the arch of your nose. You’re not that open to friendship with just anybody. You’re great at making friends though. Interpersonal skills are something boarding school definitely prepped you with. But you’ll only befriend people who match up to your standards.
But this is a something college changes. A beautiful change. You begin to interact with the kind of people you’ve been judging all your life, and they are lots of fun. College makes you accepting of different people and since, you’re already equipped with superior adaptability skills ( kudos boarding school) you adapt to the kind of freakshow college is. And you’re no longer that reserved cold person, but this warm and incredible person that finally takes a taste of reality, and chooses what she likes and doesn’t for herself.
College gives a vast cultural exposure that was restricted in boarding school. Everyone in school listened to the same kind of music, watched the same kind of movies and loved the same type of things. In college, you get to listen tons of different genres and languages of songs. You might end up loving the kind of music you never thought you would. You might end up falling in love with a movie you thought you would never watch in school. Especially in India, where college sees people come from different backgrounds, you will hear languages of different cultures and you might love some accent or some way of talking in Hindi that had you cringing a few months back.
College is a sort of rediscovery of self. Especially after a boarding school, which was a world of its own within those four walls. College is unapologetic, beautiful and colourful reality that allows you to see the world and decide for yourself to which parts you belong and to which you don’t.