So I don’t know if you are in college or about to go to college, but as my freshman year wraps up, I am truly realizing how different college is than what I had expected. I didn’t think I had that many expectations until now. I had basically romanticized the studying, exaggerated the social life, and predicted a great year. As last summer was coming to a close, I was ready to slam that book shut and start writing my new story. I thirsted for adventure. I couldn’t wait to meet new people, try new things, and be “a college student”. I was going to be all growed up!
Turns out, college was nothing like I expected. [[For some people, freshman year is pretty great. For me, it was one helluva roller coaster.]]
Expectation: Frat parties aren’t like the movies. People drink and stuff but I’ll be able to meet tons of new people!
Real College: Frat parties are exactly like the movies.
I’m not trying to bash parties. I’ve been to some really fun ones with Adam. I’ve also been to some really bad ones where I come back to my room with beer spilled on my boots and aches from being shoved around to awful music. Since I don’t drink, frat parties just aren’t for me. I’m looking forward to house parties in the coming years that are a little more chill. (;
Expectation: I won’t have class as often so I’ll have more homework, but it won’t be that bad. High school wasn’t bad and everyone said that would be awful!
Real College: Classes are really hard, & there is a lot of homework.
|Good luck fitting all those in your backpack.
What didn’t help my case is that I took 17 credits both of my semesters, had a job in the dining hall, a long distance relationship, joined too many clubs, and had a football season ticket. That was way too much for my first semester freshman year. What I’m finding though, is there is still homework, stressful exams, and painful projects no matter how many classes you take, or which classes. As long as prerequisites are ruling my schedule, my academics are relatively uninteresting. (Except I get to take my first bio class this summer!) Once I get into my major (aka things I’m interested in) and have more freedom with my extra classes, (History of Witchcraft?) as well as my main classes will be what I want to take. Thus, my academic life will improve.
|Welcome to your new home!
Expectations: Every weekend I’ll hang out with my friends and go try new restaurants. We dress up and eat out together, and go see movies!
Real College: I am a broke college student.
Okay, to be fair, I have had weekends like that. (Blue valentine anyone?!) It doesn’t happen as often as I thought it would though. Why? Because eating out all the time and seeing movies/shows gets expensive! What I’ve found, however, is that sometimes dinner in the dining hall and a Friday night in watching a movie with friends (P.S. I love you rented from the community center) is all you need. (;
Expectations: I’m going to spend a lot of time studying in various coffee shops around campus, trying different drinks and pastries.
Real College: When it’s below freezing and snowing, you will not leave your room…. for anything.
|So who wants Starbucks?
When I was making my college dreams, I forgot the whole I-live-in-Michigan-and-it-snows-all-the-time-and-it’s-freezing. It was hard for me to muster up the energy to brave the weather at 4:15pm to get to the gym, let alone go out after that to study at a coffee shop. I’ll throw some water in the microwave and use my own tea bags, thank you very much. (Did I mention the poor college student part already…?…) Speaking of the gym…
Expectations: I can’t wait to have a gym available to me all the time, I’m going to work out everyday to avoid the freshman fifteen!
Real College: Shit happens.
I know it took me awhile to establish a good gym routine. It’s a great idea to take advantage of your new free gym membership (score!). Academics need to come first, however. I don’t work out when I have an exam at night; I use my extra time to study. Sometimes I have an overload of homework and I can’t make it to the gym. Sometimes I have a friend who needs me. Sometimes I just don’t feel like going. What I’ve learned is that while it’s very important to try to exercise, it’s also very important to allow yourself to enjoy the little free time you get in college as well (and try to avoid that exercise guilt if you do take a break!).
Expectations: College is all about balance, blah, blah, blah. I can balance everything fine, I’ve been balancing so many things in high school already, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Real College: College is all about balance.
I struggled with this a lot first semester. I struggled a lot with balance this semester. I am still struggling with balance at this very moment. Work, friends, social life, boyfriend, clubs, homework, exams, sleep…. Everything here is incredibly overwhelming. I was definitely not prepared. I don’t feel like you can ever be prepared for such a major life change though (;
In the end, everything worked out. This year has been a big struggle for me and presented a lot of problems. With the help of new friends, old ones, my therapist, as well as family (& Adam!) I am working through them. I am getting better. I have this bright exciting future that I’m looking forward to. And well… I really like Real College.
P.S. I’m going to start saving this summer so that either the summer before junior year or during junior year I can get a 200 hour yoga certification from the Yoga Alliance! Exciting isn’t it?! I can’t wait to pursue such a strong passion, and share that with others (;
What is something you discovered in Real College? Or, what’s something you’re looking forward to in college?