As already mentioned, college is like a jungle. While the jungle is beautiful and full of a myriad of fauna and flora, entering it provokes mixed feelings. Firstly, it is exciting and the experience inside can be quite fun. There are friendly animals, beautiful, blossoming flowers and nice trees and scenery. However, the jungle is often home to dangerous animals such as lions, cheetahs and venomous snakes. College is no different because, as it is, it is exciting as much as it is intimidating and disorienting.
When my friend Dan joined college, he was excited that he would be away from home. He was thrilled at the thought of meeting new people and making new friends in college. He was also excited that he would be able to have fun with friends in college. What is more, Dan was happy that he was making yet another step in his academic life towards his career. It was a good experience. However, he had the fear that he would lose his friends. With all the tales of controversy, tragedies, drugs and bad clichés in college, Dan was not sure how he was going to survive through college. Nonetheless, he knew that he had to overcome all the intimidations and challenges of college if he was going to make it through to success and enter the ‘safe neighborhood’ of success that lay beyond the jungle of tumultuous college life.
In my metaphor, drugs and substance abuse, irresponsible dating and immorality and the challenges, intimidations and confusions associated with adapting to a new environment and people are likened to the thorny plants, dangerous and venomous animals, blockading rocks and the rough terrain of a jungle. The friendly, beautiful animals and plants, the good smell of picturesque flowers and the thrill of navigating the jungle are similar to the fun, excitement and the joy of experiencing the good part of college life, including making new friends, learning new things, developing academically and socially and having fun and enjoying your freedom in college.
For my friend Dan to sail through the ‘jungle’ to his success (safe neighborhood), he had to endure and deal with all the challenges in college, including attending lectures, working in his studies, resisting bad friends, maintaining self-discipline, learning to co-exist with new, different people from different parts of globe and cultures and separating from his old friends and family for some time. He also had to have fun, make new contacts and enjoy college life to the fullest.
As I listened to Dan telling me about his experiences in college, I gathered that indeed, college is a jungle beyond which lies a safe neighborhood. You have to navigate it carefully and diligently in order to reach the neighborhood