Before stepping foot on campus, I thought I knew everything there was to know about being a college student. After all, I had been to all the campus tours, and sat through numerous information sessions given at each university. I spent months gathering insight from my older friends about what it means to be a student on campus, so when I moved in and kissed my parent’s goodbye I thought I was all set. However, no one told me the little things that you don't hear on a tour, the parts of everyday life that aren’t obvious to everyone. Here are some things I've learned as a current college student, aspects of life I never knew existed.
The Difference in Homework.
After attending all my classes on the first day I was left feeling excited, overwhelmed, and mostly confused. Only two tests a semester and 3 essays? That can’t be true, I thought to myself as I skimmed over the first syllabus given to me. However, each one relayed the same information. I was expecting the usual high school style course load, with a test every few weeks, numerous papers throughout the year and daily homework’s due next class, but that's not how it works. Instead of many smaller assignments, the course load includes a few tests on all the material covered and fewer essays. Therefore, each assignment is weighted more heavily, and counts for a large percentage of your final grade. If you are not a procrastinator, this shouldn’t mean you have less homework to do! It's wise to take this into consideration and space it out instead of leaving that midterm to study for the night before.
No time for Hibernation!
There are many aspects of my daily routine at home that I simply don’t have time for at college. Every day, I would watch an hour or so of a Netflix show in my bed alone before doing my work. Here, its straight to the library. Because you have less classes throughout the day then you did during high school, there is more down time to be spent. However, this time is spent studying, or spending time with friends. I am not alone nearly as much as I was while living at home, and am constantly either getting lunch, hanging out in dorms, or just walking around campus with friends.
Wearing Sweatpants Everywhere Is Cool.
There’s no fashion police in Ann Arbor! While I was packing up my stuff with my mom before arriving, I brought all my cutest clothing with me. I made sure to include dresses, skirts, and more jeans than can even fit in a dorm room. I came in thinking I would have to impress everyone with my appearance, and that the people around me would always look put together and stylish. This could not be farther from the case. When you know it’s going to be a long day, or just can’t find that motivation to care, it’s completely normal to throw on a pair of comfy sweats and call it a day. The first day I wore sweatpants to all my classes was the best, most liberating day of my life. No one judged me, because simply put, no one cared. In fact, many people do the same exact thing.
It's Okay To Not Have A Friend Group.
From the looks of social media, It’s easy to think that friend groups come together the second you step on campus. However, this is not how making friends works at college. It takes time to meet a group of new people that share similar interests and passions as yourself, ones you truly enjoy spending time with. Everyone loved the comfort and security that high school friends provided, a group of people that made it easy to fit in and be yourself. You will find these people again, it just takes time. Don’t stress out if you don’t have a set friend group right when you get there, its completely normal I promise!
The Freshman 15 is Avoidable.
You don’t have to blow up like a balloon just because you’re a college student. There is a preconceived notion that no matter what, every college freshman gains a considerable amount of weight their first semester. However, it's possible to maintain a healthy diet and avoid packing on the pounds. There are healthy alternatives to eat all around campus, and although at first it may seem this way, you don’t eat late night junk food every single night. People do watch what they eat, work out, and make an effort not to look like a stuffed turkey by the time thanksgiving comes around!