When my school called my entire graduating class together I had no idea what they wanted. A representative from college summit came to choose peer leaders to take a journey and live on a university for a couple days. Unsuspectingly, I was chosen to go on the four day trip to Yale University. I was completely blown away by the architecture there; it looked so old and English. I felt silly for expecting a futuristic campus; instead it was more like Hogwarts. The purpose of the trip was to get a head start on the college application process and experience campus life. Most of our workshops were in the same cold, dark, room with the broken fireplace. Thankfully I had a sweater because every room but the dorms were freezing.
We were given a schedule and it was to be messed with besides that we planned to eat breakfast at 7:30am and all dining halls font open until 11:00am on Saturdays and Sundays. The dorms were smoking hot. There is a public bathroom between two dorm rooms with two sets of two toilet and shower stalls. Since the bathroom is all ten girls on the floor there were conflicts of interest when it came to the restroom and even the dorm’s bedroom. We got back to the dorms around midnight and had to wake up and be ready for the day by 7am. Every night I had to dash upstairs to use the bathroom and shower first. I like to dress in my bedroom but in the dorm I have to ask permission for the room to myself from my roommate. I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable. I couldn’t sleep because everyone wanted to run about and socialize, even I wanted to take part in the midnight gossip in our dorm’s living room.
By the morning I was running on empty. It was very hard to stay awake and focus but our alumni leaders told us that ‘this’ is what college is really like. At first I had no idea what they meant. I figured I wouldn’t have to wake so early or put myself in bed so late or I could plan my meals and snacks better so I wouldn’t be starving and awake at 1am waiting for ice and a bag of chips. Then I realized that the only thing missing from my days was free time. They gave us time to dress, chance, etc. but all of it was on their terms. Even though I craved the freedom to do absolutely nothing I got something much more important out of this trip. Instead of a vacation I was on a business trip to make a deal with myself for my own future. Instead of wasting time all of it was productive. Any free time I had on this trip was spent refreshing myself and preparing for a productive tomorrow.
I thought college was freedom from high school that would give me more time to “be me” and enjoy myself. Actually it is a time to become me. When I traveled to Yale I realized that the party is over. Even when college summit rewarded us for our diligence with a party all I could think about was sleep and laying my clothes out for the next day. Leisure was suddenly pushed to the back burner. They congratulated us with a big banquet to commemorate everyone for coming together and not having an epic breakdown. I loved the formalities and realized they only come with the big achievements like surviving this weekend of big goals and strange faces.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.