The high school years are over and the diploma is framed, the next step in the student's life is college. To a lot of high school graduates the thought of going to college is either very exiting or very scary and sometimes both. This is a new chapter in your life one hidden in stories and rumors of how college life is either all hard work or all night parties. It is you who will be adding to these tales of college life in the next few years. Your experience will be different from everyone else because of the choices you make.

Leaving your family, you're friends and your life as it is behind you and to start afresh somewhere else, not knowing anyone there or anything about the life at college can be very daunting indeed. However there will also be a lot of other people in exactly the position that you are in, these are your new friends and will spend the next few years helping one another through this experience.

The choice of which college to attend can be the subject of many discussions and decisions not only with parents and teachers but with friends and their choice of colleges, this may influence the final decision you make. The right grades and achievements whilst in high school are one consideration that will affect which college you can choose and whether your application will carry merit and warrant acceptance, this can and will depend on previous academic prowess and achievements. Location is another factor for consideration and whether you wish to commute from home to a local college or stay on a campus will determine how far from home the college of your choice will be.

Once the college is decided on and you have been accepted the next few years of your life are the college years and the main focus and goal is the degree on the subject of your choice for the career you wish to pursue.

The first or freshman year at college is a time of wonderful discoveries, the forming of new friendships and acquaintances, the search for knowledge and acceptance in the academic circles and finally the hard earned degree to prove the years you have spent at college have not been wasted. This first year is full of anticipation, anxiety and awakening awareness, it can be traumatic, stressful and intimidating but it can also be awe inspiring and wonderful. It is a time for leaving childhood behind and taking great leaps into adulthood forging the way for your future.

The freshman year for those who are living away from home can be a lot more dramatic and a lot more stressful. The intense workload, short deadlines can be quite daunting and when added to the strange and sometimes lonely feelings of living away from your family and friends for the first time, can prove to be too much for some. The feelings of being overworked coupled with doubt, frustration and possible under achievement can be a normal apart of everyday life for some college students.

This though does not have to be the total of the college life, you will make new friends, experience new things and learn new ways of how to think, act, and portray yourself. It is as important to enjoy this as much as you may dread it. Being on your own does not have to be a negative experience; it is your choice to make it a positive influence on your new academic life. Managing the high workloads and deadlines, the exams and assignments is your responsibility making the most of it is your choice.

Being away from home gives you a freedom you have never had before. This new found freedom can be a good thing for you, it allows you to grow into the person you want to be, the person you should be, but be aware it can also turn you into someone you are not. Balance is the key to this problem and is an important part of the college life, the responsibility of knowing how much work and how much play is yours to control making the right choices determine your future. Your degree, your career starts here and it is down to you to both perform academically and enjoy the life of a college student.