Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

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"Disillusionment" Being On My Own Wow! It's been 18 years already and I'm off living on my own now. What a change it is for me, now on my own. It's not at all like I thought it would be when I came here. For a while I thought college was like how they portrayed it in the movies like American Pie 2, Higher Learning, and Animal House just to name a few. You know lots of parties, girls, and alcohol. Being from Hawaii we only have movies that show us what college is like. So when I first arrived here in Oregon all that I could think about was living a college life like in one of those movies. In the beginning it seemed like it but as time went by I realized that it's not like I though it would be.

I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and have been raise\d there all my life.

Now in college at Oregon State University, life on my own has had its ups and downs. At first what I thought it would be like was no rules, no parents, and no worries. Well it was for the first two weeks, I mean partying, drinking, and all the other things college students do these days. After a while it hit me that; "yeah life is fun and can be a party, but for how long?" Also I had to take in consideration that I didn't have all the money in the world to be spending every day of the week. So that's when things started getting tough and when you start to miss the simple things in life that were always around you when you were at home. For example like getting money, some people have various ways of getting it but at least we have a way of getting it when we are at home. And me being from Hawaii my home is not so close. Another example and probably the most common thing college student's miss are having their own family's home cooked meals. It can be pretty sad at times some of the meals us college students eat now days. Mainly the classes were not like what I thought it would be. I used to think that classes were easy and that all you had to do was just show up. But it's more than that; teachers could care less if you show up one or all lectures (not all teachers of course) it doesn't matter. It matters only if you know what's going on in class; do homework, and mainly pass. It sounds as though it couldn't get any worse than those examples; but it does. The one thing that I think all college students experience when they get here and don't realize how hard it is to over come is being alone. We all have experienced this at least once. As for me it can be hard because I have no family at all up here, so I sometimes have this feeling of loneliness.

Now after experiencing one term on my own I've learned a lot about those examples I wrote about earlier. Not only that it is tough being own your own, but it also is a time in my life where I take that step from being a boy to a man. It's also a time in my life where I can make my own decisions without anyone telling me if it was a good or bad one. Now I think of living on my own as a blessing, well since I am the first one in my family to go off to college. Also I think of college now as something very serious; yeah it was cool to go out and have fun with friends. But the fact of the matter is that if you don't show results in college you won't be here long enough to enjoy the rest of the fun and hardships of living a college life.

Thankfully what I thought college life was going to be like was just party party party. But it's not, and that's good, because if it was then well I wouldn't be able to grow up and able to make wise decisions that would better my life. Yes, my thinking has changed a lot on what I thought college would be. Why? Because if college was just a party I don't think America would be a great place, because everyone would be drunk. Maybe some of us can get through it that way, but as for me I know I wouldn't be able to even go to class if I was drunk all the time. After this experience I made college fun for me and worth-while; first off taking care of school, work first before going out and forgetting; second getting a job so I can get used to having good habits of getting myself to somewhere on time.

While having to worry about all those things about being on my own, at first it was hard, but you just have go with it and adapt; if not then it will be very tough. And in me doing so, my life now here is not as bad as it was. I mean I got a job so my money problem is some what fixed, I cook my own meals some nights which isn't that bad compared to the cafeteria, and mainly I have friends which makes things go better because I'm not alone anymore.

College is what you make it to be and yes you can do what ever you want but remember it's your choice when it happens. Then again in college it's all about time and what you do with it; if you use it wisely life can be much easier if not then I think we know what can happen to us.

Tough at first but not so bad after you find out your own ways to help yourself get through tough times; also realizing the importance of time management can really help you get through college without worrying so much. Also after being alone for sometime now; I've realized that things don't have to be the whey they are but what you want them to be. Now I am happy that I'm here, and I don't regret one bit of it. Though college can be tough no matter if it's near or far away from home; but being on your own and alone is a lot tougher than it sounds.