Savor the Uncertainty

When you go to college, whether 30 minutes from your house or 3,000 miles away, things are going to be different. You won't just be in classes with people your age, there will be people older than you, some even older than the professor, and maybe even a couple people younger than you. There will be a vast range of different life experiences, goals, ideas, opinions. Sometimes it may feel like there are whole classrooms that have a different opinion from you.

Despite any discomfort or frustration you may feel when you are surrounded by people who have different ideas and who aren't shy about sharing them, but trust me... this is a good thing, great even. Yes, there is a certain comfort and freedom that comes with being surrounded by like-minded people, a feeling that you can express yourself without any backlash or questioning. But then again, comfort-zones aren't exactly what college is about. You may have a set way of thinking, opinions that you feel strongly about and that is absolutely incredible, but now is the time to challenge those opinions and ways of thinking. Ask yourself why you think this way or that and be okay with questioning the opinions you used to feel so strongly about. Form new ones or just bask in the in-between and uncertainty. There is nothing wrong with not knowing how you feel about something right away.

I know the saying goes "if you don't stand for anything, you'll fall for everything." And while there is some truth to that I think an even bigger folly would be to not question the things you stand for and follow them blindly. You have every right to believe what you want to believe and you also have every right to change your mind. 
At the same time, don't be afraid to challenge your classmates in their opinions.

If college has taught me anything it has been to never take something at face value, and solidified my belief that there is no such thing as black-and-white, everything is gray. I've questioned my thought processes and my beliefs. They've altered and changed and while it can be scary and uncomfortable to defend my beliefs to my peers or even my parents, I am happy to say that they are mine and I'm not stuck with them forever if my perspective changes or new facts present themselves.
So listen openly, challenge respectfully, be willing to change your mind but not angry when you can't change someone else's.

You listen to people so that you can imagine them, and you hear all the terrible and wonderful things people do to themselves and to one another, but in the end the listening exposes you even more than it exposes the people you’re trying to listen to.” - Tom Green, Paper Towns 

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