Now that I'm a month into my second year of college, I am infinitely wiser than I was a month into my freshman year. I am excited rather than frantic. The campus is manageable rather than a maze. People have become friends rather than strangers. Coming back to SDSU was something I looked forward to all summer. Looking back a year ago, I would have never expected to be ready to go back to college. I was terrified as a first-year. People would tell me about their college experiences, give me advice and try in any way to prepare me, but, coming in, I never knew exactly what to expect. As a wiser sophomore, I can reflect on the surprises of college. Here are seven things I didn't expect in college.
1. I didn't expect for people to be so uninvolved in each others' business.
High schoolers are so nosey. They live for gossip and somehow they find out everything. I swear to God they would make incredible detectives. But on the other hand, college kids could care less; they don't need to know who you hung out with last weekend or where you went on your date or even if you went on a date. Everyone minds their own business, and it is life changing.
2. I didn't expect how much money I would spend.
Being completely independent exposes you to the real value of money. All I will say is save while you can because you WILL need it in college.
3. I didn't expect for it to be OK to have a night in.
When I thought of college, I believed everyone transformed into a wild child. I thought it was all partying and hooking up.Especially because San Diego State has the reputation as a party school. But, in reality, it's okay to stay in for a movie night. If you find the right friends, you'll be able to do so much more than just party.
4. I didn't expect to make genuine friendships so quickly.
I have known my friends at home for between 5 to 15 years. They have been through so many milestones with me; we have countless memories. I never thought I would find friendships like that in college. I expected to find people who I'd walk to class with and eat food with. What I didn't expect was to find people who would be my best friends. Freshman-me would never expect that I would miss them during summer, travel with them to a different country, be introducing them to my friends at home or living with them. I didn't think it was possible for such genuine, supportive and fun friendship to form over the course of 9 months. I guess it is true what they say; your college friends are your friends for life.
5. I didn't expect to join a sorority.
Never ever did I believe my best friends would come from my sorority. Hell, I did not expect to even join one. The stigma of Greek Life kept me away from joining going greek. I don't know exactly what pushed me to finally commit to going through recruitment but I couldn't image going through freshman year or college with my sorority. Joining was one of the greatest decisions of my life.
6. I didn't expect to fall in love with San Diego.
I am a Northern California girl. I was always an avid believer that Norcal was better than Socal. But, this past year in San Diego changed me. Before college, I pictured myself returning to Northern California right after graduation. Now I can see myself living in San Diego. It literally has everything; city, beach, suburbia. It is youthful and exciting. People visit San Diego all the time because it is so beautiful. I'm lucky enough to live where everyone vacations.
7. I didn't expect to be so happy.
I 110 percent believed that I would be miserable in college. I thought that I was one of those people who was just not made for college. I expected to miss my friends and family too much. I even expected to miss my own bed too much. The thought of knowing no one at a new school in a new place was almost unthinkable. But, I surprised myself by making friends, loving school, and putting up with a roommate. I did not expect to so strong. I did not expect to be so independent. Ultimately, I did not expect to be so happy.
College shattered my expectations; better than I expected. In some odd way, I'm glad I came in with expectations for college because it gave me the opportunity to be surprised by things that I did not expect.