College can be one of the best memories in a person's life, but it is not all peaches and cream like many movies make it out to be. In the amount of time you attend college, you will discover some of the best and worst things that come along with the college experience.
1. Best things: FriendsGiphy
If you're lucky, the friends you will make in college may be with you for the rest of your life. This can especially happen if you are involved in Greek life or organizations that have a close community. I have friends that I would meet at the dining hall for dinner, go to events with, etc. I even have two classes with one of my best friends right now. Even if the friendships you make don't last long after college, the opportunity to form these friendships are one of the best things that can happen at college.
2. Once in a lifetime experience
Many people don't even have the option to attend college. If you get that chance, take advantage of this one in a lifetime opportunity. College is a unique four-year experience that is once in a lifetime. I am a first-generation college student, so I have stories and memories that my parents will never have. Because of that, I cherish this time.
Let's not forget that you're actually in college to learn. Aside from the fun times that come along with college, you are also being prepared for the job world all four years. It will be filled with on-campus jobs, internships, mentors, and building relationships along the way. All of those things will help you once it is time for you to start job hunting. You're being taught skills and receiving connections that people who do not attend college may have to figure out on their own.
4. Finding yourselfGiphy
Before college you probably think you have everything figured out. In reality, you don't! You have no idea that the person you are at 18 is probably the total opposite of the adult you will form into by the time you graduate. I have a completely different outlook and mindset of life all because of my college experience so far. I'm glad about this because the 19-year-old mindset I had when I first arrived was okay for my hometown, but it wasn't going to get me far in my field of study. I have experienced love, heartbreak, depression, stress, and much more during college. Some of those things weren't enjoyable to experience, but they have and are continuing to shape me into the adult I need to be in order to be ready for a job, family, love, etc. Consider college a four year time slot where you are free to make mistakes and try new things until you get it right. You are creating your path and future during this time!
The absolute best part of college is graduation. It is the few seconds of recognition you get for the long and stressful years you spent obtaining your degree. Although those few seconds are incomparable to the journey you just completed, it's all worth it. It's proof of a significant accomplishment in your life plus you may even be lucky enough to receive a few gifts from others.
6. Worst: CostGiphy
I don't think the students nor parents/guardians can agree on anything more than how expensive college is. No matter what college you attend, they all cost money. Although it is great that aid such as scholarships and grants exist, but the fact that college is so expensive in the first place is the problem. My school is over $20,000 a year. With that kind of money, you can pay rent for a year, buy a car, pay bills, buy food, and other things that will actually benefit someone's current well-being. Yet, students are being forced to pay thousands of dollars a year just because we want to further our education. Is that a crime? If not, why are we being forced to pay such outrageous amounts for the one piece of paper we will receive after graduation?
7. Not fitting inGiphy
Although one of the major benefits of college can be the friendships you may make, one of the worst things about college is feeling like you don't fit in. Not everyone is that person who you see with a group of people at all times. There are people who do eat alone at the dining halls, not by choice. Many times, it's because those students feel overwhelmed, haven't found people with similar interests as the, or they need time to adjust. Some people may not find "their people" until junior year, and that is perfectly fine. Just remember that you are not the only person on the entire campus that feels like this. I was in the same position my entire first year at college.
Dorm life for some may be good, but for most it is awful. Regardless if you get along with your roommate or not, the lack of privacy can be extremely annoying at times. Depending on the size, you may be sharing the size of a prison cell with a complete stranger. You can try to decorate most dorms, but the reality is that the cement walls will still be there. If you are someone that is used to anything bigger than a twin-size bed, then you are in for a rude awakening. I can go on and on about dorm life, but the list would be longer than this article. Again, I think every college student should get the experience, but you will probably be over living in a dorm after your first year.
Dining hall food can be good at times, but it can also be the nastiest stuff you have ever tasted. It all depends on the college honestly. Regardless, it will not be the home cooked meals you are probably used to. I thought I was living the dream every time I went to the dining hall. After a couple of months, I was missing my mother's cooking. The weight gain is also a real thing if you eat the dining hall food long enough. Also, meal plans are usually super expensive and not worth the food they actually serve.
10. No parking spots
This issue gets worse depending on the size of your school. For my school, I can never find a parking spot or a spot at the library. I put these two together because they are both concerned to spots and the lack thereof. When I lived on campus, my parking spot was taken before I could even turn around the corner. I would always have to carefully plan when I would leave or move my car. As far as the library, it seems like every seat is always taken. Anyone who goes to the library knows that the area you choose to sit at for the next few hours you hope to get work done in has a huge effect on whether or not your work will actually get done. The lack of available spots is just one of the many cons of attending a large college.