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Child to Collegiate: Expectations of University Education

Attending a university awakens a period of growth, insight, and personal awakening in a young person’s life. Responsibility, freedom, and liberty are both consequences and advantages of “going away to college”, a dream many high school students find themselves indulging in years before the vague prospect becomes a very possible reality. Responsibility is a difficult concept for sheltered individuals, such as high school students who have seen little of the world, to grasp; aspects of responsibility are frightening, overwhelming, and restrictive to the unused to recipients of the word. But once attending a college far from their childhood home, a student is not only required to be responsible, but is also rewarded with liberty and freedom once he has learned the importance and joys of responsibility. One of the most important and difficult aspects of responsibility is the fulfillment of expectations. Expectations are invisible reigns looped around students by parents, administrators, counselors, religious leaders, family members, and even friends, tightening almost painfully during the last few years of high school when the important choices involved in choosing and attending a university are thrown into the student’s mix of troubles and worries.
Students find themselves questioning the university decision: Why is picking a school so difficult? Which school has my major? Which school is best suited to me? Where will I fit in? Which has the best professors, campus, location, etc? Some question attending university so much as they are pushed into a decision, pulled towards specific schools, that the expectations of family and friends to fulfill an ambiguous destiny or chase an obscure calling become too heavy to hold. Due to the weight of the expectations of others, students forget to focus on their own voice and choose what is right solely for them, to follow their passions, delight in the decisions they make, and revel in what inspires them to grow and improve. In order to follow his passion, delight in his decisions, and revel in inspiration, one must be willing to take responsibility for himself and trust his instincts. He must have his own expectations. He must have his own hopes and dreams.
Patricia Neal once theorized, “A master can tell what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.” It is the realization and fulfillment of my own expectations that excites me most about attending a university after graduating high school. As a teenager, I acknowledge that I may not be able to clearly see or understand what I am meant to do in life, what my destiny is, or how great my potential may be. It is the advisement, education, and insight of the professors, peers, and residents of the area and campus I will call home when attending college, along with my own conviction and devotion to learning, that will allow me to realize the expectations I have of myself and my abilities. In realizing these expectations and the potential I have to become a better person, a greater artist, and a more proficient writer (the passions I have been enchanted by since childhood, honed in teenhood, and hope to perfect, realize more proficiently, or be further inspired by in adulthood), I will achieve the excellence I dream of and fulfill the hopes and ideas I have in attending college.



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