How the Transition from High School to College Changed Me

The transition from high school to college seems to be this big thing high schoolers are afraid of. And with reasons! A lot of people leave their home to go to the college they want, which means they’re not only living their family and friends behind, but they’re also leaving their comfort zone. I get it, it’s scary. And trust me, I’ve been there.

How did the transition from high school to college change me? Click through to find out.

One of my readers asked me to develop more on how my transition from high school to college changed me in this reader survey and I thought it was a great idea. I’ve changed a lot since high school. I am not the same girl I used to be. And it’s for the best! The transition from high school to college doesn’t have to be scary. 

Let me start by saying that my high school experience wasn’t easy. While my school gave me so many opportunities (such as a trip to NYC, the chance to learn Spanish, and I created an Italy travel guide from start to finish), it was also a nightmare. I was with a group of friends that was toxic to me. They made me doubt everything about myself and feel so little that I have thought about packing everything that I had and leave. I had almost no self-confidence. They made me feel like I wasn’t worth it and treated me poorly (to say it nicely). I have always been an insecure person, and being with those people didn’t really help it. Why did I stay with them, you ask? Well, I never really realize how bad they made me feel until senior year. And then, I guess it was too late.

So I think it’s needless to say that I was not very sad to leave high school behind. While everyone was crying on the last day, I remember taking one last look at my school and think “Goodbye, suckers!”. Sure, I was sad of leaving some of my teachers behind (I had some of the best – honestly), but I was ready to head to college, live new adventures and meet new people.

My first day of college, I was very nervous. I didn’t know anyone in my class, and being an introvert, didn’t talk to that many people. (Fun anecdote kind of off-topic: I was terrified after my first class. The teacher was terrifying and talked trash about my private all-girl high school [without knowing I was from there]. I felt like crying, but was also very determined to prove him wrong, which I did.) That routine continued throughout my entire first semester.

I kept in touch with some of my high school “friends”, too afraid to leave my comfort zone.  But as time went by, the more I realize that I needed to let go of them. I was still being made fun of. I was being ignored. I just didn’t fit in with them anymore. I knew it, and yet, it was hard for me to let go.

The second semester, I started to make friends with people within my major. We had a lot of classes together and felt more comfortable with them. That’s when I met my two BFFs. We clicked instantly. For once in my life, I was feeling like I belonged.

I gained confidence.

Being with these people made me realize that I had no reason to feel unworthy. I had felt terrible about myself my whole life and had no one to cheer me up or to lean on when it got rough. But meeting those two girls made me realize how wrong I had been about myself. Being with them made me feel unstoppable. They are two of the most supportive people I have never met, and I’m so glad to have them in my life.

Being in college also made me realize I had more to offer. I was in a private all-girl school for five years in high school, which was a super competitive environment. Once I was out of this toxic place, I gained confidence in myself. I started to value my own work and wasn’t as afraid to speak up my mind and express myself. I finally started to feel comfortable with who I am.

Being self-confident is still something I struggle with, but it’s much easier when you’re surrounded by people who love and support you no matter what.

I became more daring

As much afraid as I was when I arrived in college, I quickly started to become more daring and take more risks. I am not as afraid to leave my comfort zone as I used to be. For instance, I left my hometown to go on an internship in Boucherville, and am about to leave to study abroad in the UK for the next semester. If you had told me that during my junior year of high school, I would have laughed at you. The most risks I took during high school was volunteering to organize and host my senior prom, and that felt like the biggest challenge at the time. But gaining self-confidence made me trust myself more, and I was able to take more risks and take on challenges. Am I still scared of leaving my comfort zone? Hell yes. But I still plunge head first and try to make the best out of every situation life throws at me. I’m not as afraid to take on challenges as I used to be.

The transition from high school to college can be a very scary thing. But trust me when I say that it is one of the most wonderful things that could have happened to me, and I know it will probably be the case for you too! And if it isn’t… well, it’s only for a couple of years! Just don’t be afraid of trying new things and leaving your comfort zone. Grab every opportunity. These years will make you learn more about yourself than high school could never have!

How did your transition from high school to college changed you? Was it better or worse than what you had expected?

  • Alyssa Savage

    I just posted something similar to this on my blog! I definitely believe college allows people to gain more confidence because people become so independent. Great read!
    – Alyssa |

  • Yes that gain of confidence was the main one for me. Having to make decisions without my parents and having to meet lots of new people were such big challenges but I’ve gained so much confidence because of them.

  • I also feel like a completely different person from who I was in high school. For me, the transition was a lot better than expected and the college environment enables you to grow so much as a person, especially in the ways you mentioned. Becoming more independent was big for me and I stopped caring so much about what people thought.

    Madison //