College life a long, strange journey

College is an interesting institution with interesting people to encounter.

If you are not cautious you can meet people whose intentions are to enter your life, play with your mind, change your character, alter your visions and help you lose focus of what you came here to achieve, YOUR EDUCATION!

As I pack up my things and get ready to move away from this scene we call the college life, I look back at the people I’ve met along the way; people who have either changed my life for the better, or led me down a path of destruction. I think to myself: what if I would’ve done this, this way…or maybe if I would have said that, then maybe things would have been different.

It’s easy to say I’m going to college to learn what I need to learn and get out within the four-year time frame, but at 18 or 17 it may sound pretty simple.

And it can be, if you make the right choices: choose the right friends, know what major you want to finish with, manage your time wisely, balance your social life and class work accurately and make some time for your spiritual well-being. Sounds easy huh…well it’s possible, but not as easy as I thought it was.

There’s another side of college, the other side no one warned me about, but I wish someone had. The part about the failed relationships, broken friendships, failing classes you struggled to pass, an introduction to narcotics, maintaining jobs in order to pay your rent, losing loved ones while away, sleep deprivation, constant studying sometimes until 2 or 3 a.m., a limited amount of money to spend throughout the semester. There are also emotional demands: stress, depression, feelings of isolation, sexual temptations, aggravation and emptiness.

Then there are the people you encounter with their own customized agenda to leave a devastating impression on your life. The people who only want to use you, the friends who envy you, the wanna-be players, the mentally ill roommates, the dirty roommates, the sex starved friends, the stuck up sisters and brothers; who think they are better than you until they open their mouths to speak, the professors whose main objective is to see you fail, the friends who only want to keep you down, and if that isn’t enough to deal with, you have the jealous associates who have the rumor mill turning your direction. It’s no wonder why, after dealing with all of that drama, many people make the decision to walk away from the institution invented to further their life’s fulfillment.

However, under all of that misery the devil swings your way, there are those honorable few, who want to help heal those wounds and salvage your reputation as you travel down that path toward your destined goal. Those people are designed to help you see the positive side of college and play major roles in your growth and development.

They assure you that they will have your corner when times are rough, offer that shoulder for you to cry on, give positive advice on how you can go about staying on the right path, be dependable when you need a hand, be that person who listens to your whining and belly-aching even when it was your decision to carry through with your crazy ideas in the first place.

Their purpose is simply to change your life for the better.

Yes my friends, the road can be rough, and the reward very prosperous, but getting there can be a story within itself. There are no rules or manuals that tell you what you need to do to get out of school. Most of the decisions are yours as an adult.

It’s been a rough road, but I’m glad I can look back, smile and walk away with my degree in hand. Not many people can say that. Some are still chasing after false goals and tainted dreams or caught up in illusions of being something that was never intended for them to be. So to all those graduating this semester, smile.

You earned that degree and now you’re on your way to a new battlefield you will have to overcome. To all freshmen, sophomores and juniors, keep on pushing on. The reward is within your reach. Just be aware of the roadblocks that will try to keep you from it.

Byanca Morgan, third year, public relations student from Athens, Ga. She can be reached at