John Belushi in Animal House. Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. Many strange and often hilarious depictions of college life exist in the media today, and teenagers are constantly consuming them. But where does fact end and fiction begin? Practically every teenager, myself included, spends junior and senior year of high school taking tests, writing essays, and wondering what the next four years of our lives will be like. This is especially true because I graduated from high school about two weeks ago. Over the past year, bits and pieces of the college experience have been sinking into my brain, and I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of what this next phase of my life will entail. Does that mean that I am prepared for the huge journey that I am about to embark on? Absolutely not. I am still a little nervous, a little overwhelmed, but I am definitely excited. Spending even a couple days at the USM Journalism Workshop, where we have studied that field with college professors in a college setting has laid many of my fears to rest. No, there are not obnoxious frat boys wearing sweatshirts that only say “college” shooting food out of their mouths. And no, a ditzy blonde did not get into Harvard simply by submitting a video of herself lounging in a pool. Life is not like the movies. Rather, the little bit of real college life that I have experienced this week has been filled with interesting panel discussions, fun journalism assignments, and a healthy dose of responsibility and independence that I know will be part of college life. I enjoy being treated like an adult, but I also know that the responsibilities that come with that treatment are very great. Being able to create angles and leads for the stories that I was interested gave me a sense of freedom and self-direction that was exciting and a precursor to the independent work that college brings. Overall, it has been a fun two days and I am looking forward to the rest of the week!