4 Lessons College Has Taught Me

4 Lessons College Has Taught Me

There is no such thing as a "typical college student," and no one's experience is the same.
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Going into the college process, I had many expectations, most of which were fueled by media depictions. I thought I would make friends quickly, join lots of clubs, and unleash my inner social being. I thought I would find a place to belong, something that had previously been lacking in my life. Throughout high school, I got good grades without exerting too much effort, so I thought college would be the same way. Absolutely nothing about the reality of my college experience was what I expected. It has not been what I hoped. In some ways, it is better. But in some ways, it is worse. Either way, I believe it is worth it.

1. You're better than you think you are...

When I first started college, I was overwhelmed by the intelligence of my classmates. I was astounded by how profound everyone sounded. I didn't think I had the ability to articulate words of such academic quality. I've never been very talkative in class, and I let my worries prevent me from speaking at all, in most cases. I would do the homework and write the essays, fretting that the professor would think I was dumb. However, all of that stress was for nothing, in the end. The professors I've had have been very understanding about my hesitancy to speak in class, and generally, they have been impressed with me. I'm not dumb. I just find it all too easy to slip into the habit of comparing myself to others.

2. But don't overestimate yourself.

High school may have been quite easy for me, but college has been a different experience. I have to devote much more time and energy to my studies now, and when I don't, it shows. I guess one could say I have been put in my place. While I have exceeded my expectations in some respects, I have also disappointed myself significantly. At first, I would get extremely depressed if I didn't do as well as I expected or hoped for an assignment. But now, I don't think the fact that I have disappointed myself is bad. I think there is a lot to learn from failure. I've gained perspective, and I have learned to face mistakes with humility and hope. Mistakes and failures will never define me, as long as I vow to stand back up and try again.

3. Nothing is as glamorous or exciting as people like to make it out to be.

Everyone says you'll meet your life-long friends in college, that you'll find the people who will stick by your side until the end. I never found my life-long group of friends, or really anyone at all, despite the fact that I have been in college for about a year and a half. Sure, I've met people, but I have not made any lasting friendships. I don't think that means there's anything wrong with me; I just think it means that being social is difficult for me, and there is no magic spell that will allow me to make friends more easily, even in college. I haven't had any awe-inspiring, self-discovering moments. I am still quite uncertain about myself and my future. Overall, much of my experience feels kind of underwhelming to me, though I still believe my education is important and worth the struggle. Everyone's college experience will be different, and it will not always live up to the surreal images that have been planted in our minds.

4. It's okay to admit that things aren't exactly what you wanted them to be.

The fact that my college experience isn't what I wanted it to be does not mean I have failed. It simply means that things are different, and different does not have to be negative. I am open to the idea that perhaps there is some sort of purpose to the things I am experiencing, and there will be something positive that comes out of this.


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Let's Talk More About Lori Laughlin Facing Up To 20 Years In Prison When Brock Turner Got 6 Months

And he was released three months early for 'good behavior'... after sexually assaulting an unconscious girl behind a dumpster.

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To start, Lori Laughlin messed up royally, and I don't condone her actions.

If you live under a rock and are unaware of what happened to the "Full House" star, here's the tea:

Lori Laughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli — and like 50 other celebrity parents — were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, and paid a $1 million bail on conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and honest services fraud. You don't need to know what these mean except that she paid $500,000 to get her two daughters, Bella and Olivia Jade Giannulli.

I know you're wondering why they did it — tbh I am too — however, these parents paid the University of Southern California to give admission to her daughters in through the rowing team on campus, despite neither one of them actually playing the sport ever in their life.

Yeah, Aunt Becky messed up and should face punishment, but why is she facing up 20 years when men like Brock Turner are sentenced only six months for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford?

I hate to bring up the gender card, but I'm pulling it: Why is Lori Laughlin — a woman who with bad judgement who used money to give an upper-hand to her entitled daughters — face more prison time than a man who willingly raped a woman who wasn't in a right state of mine (or any at all!) behind a dumpster of all places.

The answer? Because the system is a mess.

Yeah, Aunt Becky paid for her daughters to get into a school, giving disadvantages to students actually deserving and wanting to attend a college. Her act was immoral, and ultimately selfish, but it doesn't even compare to what Brock Turner did, and it doesn't even effect others as much his rape survivor.

The most that will happen to the Giannulli girls is an expulsion and a temporary poor reputation, however, Emily Doe (the alias of the survivor) will feel the consequences of the attack forever.

There should have been a switch:

Lori Laughlin and the Target guy should have had to pay other students tuition/student debt while facing prison time, while Brock Turner should have had to face over 20 years with more consequences.

But, that'll never happen because our system sucks and society is rigged. I guess our society would prefer a rapist walking around more so a woman who made a poor choice by paying for her daughters to go to a college.

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After Meeting With My Academic Adviser, I Feel Like Even More Of A Failure

Let me just tell you, I didn't come out of my advising meeting feeling like I had a hopeful future.

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Let me paint the picture for you — I'm sure so many of my fellow peers can see in their heads: my adviser is typing down all the possible classes I could sign up for the fall semester, while I sit to the left of him to look at the screen. He starts telling me that everything is up in the air in terms of completing my degree. As I held my tears back, I wondered why am I such a failure?

Every college student has been in the scenario, so I am far from the norm. We all have sat down with an adviser just to listen them inform us that everything we have been doing wrong for the whole semester. Advisers speak in that unsure tone when you discuss with them which classes they could possibly take — it's gut-wrenching. You just want to bawl your eyes out because you have been under a high level of stress for trying to be the "best student" you can possibly be. The situation frustrates you to the point that you want to scream at your adviser. All you want is for someone to give you hope for the future, not another person who will tear you down and strip you of the last pieces of dignity that you have.

In my case, hearing the words, "It might take you three more years to graduate," was a bullet straight to my heart.

So many questions ran through my mind. Am I even smart enough to continue pursuing a degree? If I do, will I be successful after I graduate?

Of course, there was so much more to the meeting. But, hearing someone tell you that you will not graduate on time is the epitome of feeling like a failure. I know I will no longer be conforming to the "four-year model" of a regular college student. Aside from feeling as if I've failed myself, the situation has also caused me to distance myself from my parents because I worry that I will let the unfortunate new slip out — I'm sure they will come across this article.

With all of this in mind, it has been very hard to not want to just drop everything and stay in bed all day. Nothing would be more comforting than to just lay in bed all day and forget about the stresses of college. Luckily, meeting with another adviser — someone who knew what she was talking about — helped me set a solid plan in motion, giving me some hope that I will graduate within a reasonable time frame.

Fingers crossed!

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