What To Expect During College Orientation

10 College Orientation Facts Your College Conveniently Forgot To Mention

Here are the top ten things you need to know.

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Yes... you hear all about the nice dorms and the campus amenities, you research all the options for majors and minors and degree programs, you tour the campus and try the food in the cafeteria. But here's what they don't tell you when you're learning about your upcoming college experience.

You will experience a mental breakdown or two... or 100.

You think you know what you want to do for the rest of your life, but you will probably change your mind. Ask anyone, they've probably changed their major at least once at some point. Don't get down on yourself, cry when you need to, and make sure you're taking care of yourself.

College is expensive, no matter what.

Even if you have a scholarship or you saved money all your life, shit happens. No matter how hard you try to budget or save your money and not eat fast food, you will be broke. And asking your parents to transfer money to your account never gets easier.

You will be overwhelmed and overthink things.

Be prepared, you'll probably cry... a lot. In the library, in your bed, on the bus, wherever. Call your mom and she will make you feel better.

YOU WILL GET HOMESICK.

No matter if you're an hour away or across the country, the little things are what you'll miss the most. Even fighting with your little brother over who's supposed to empty the dishwasher, or driving with your friends to the donut shop, you will miss the way things used to be (no matter how much you think high school sucked).

Dorms are cold and GROSS.

Sharing a communal bathroom with 100 strangers is bad enough, but then you have an uncomfortable twin mattress and cafeteria food to add into the mix.

Schoolwork is hard (and you're not the student you used to be).

If you're like me, getting to college classes will be a culture shock. In high school, I was a straight-A student and my parents repeatedly told me that I was the smartest kid they knew... cut to college and I realized I'm just tragically average and I'm not as smart as I thought I was.

College is scary/lonely/intimidating/etc.

Walk around once by yourself and you'll realize that campus is big and scary and you're far from home and you're taking care of yourself now... whoa.

Most teachers really don't give a crap.

In high school, all you teacher probably knew you by name and they would cut you some slack if you missed a day of class. In college, you won't get this same luxury. Teachers won't call home to mommy if you don't go to class, you follow the same rules as everyone else and you're forced to hold yourself accountable.

You don't eat as much but you still get fat.

Somehow being broke and gaining the freshman 15 go hand-in-hand. You won't get a full three meals a day but you also don't feel like cooking a meal after studying for hours in the library, so Taco Bell seems like your best option. Tip: go to the gym.

It will all be OK.

You may think you're the only one struggling, but this stress is just a component of your new college life. Relax: you will graduate, you will get a job, you will find love. Live your life and enjoy your college experience. Sorry for scaring you, I promise these will be the best years of your life.

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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I'm About To Burst, Laughing At The People Who Thought My Pregnancy Meant I Had To Drop Out Of College

I get stared at in the halls and asked if I am going to drop out. Here are ways being a pregnant student has changed my college experience.

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I have been pregnant the entire time that I have been in graduate school. It was not how I planned to experience grad school, but it has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective and will give me a lovely son (seriously, any second now). There are certain things that I did not realize about being a pregnant student until I experienced it, and maybe my experiences can help better prepare other women, or give them something to relate to since pregnant students are such a rare breed.

As a grad student and a 25-year-old, I am around the average age to have my first child in America. I am not dependent on my parents and the world does not treat me like a child anymore.

However, since I decided to pursue my master's degree, I feel that people are not used to seeing pregnant and student in the same sentence without gasping.

When I first told my father, his first reaction was to ask me if I was to going to drop out.

This became a recurrent reaction from my family and friends (which my boyfriend who is also a student was never asked once). I did not expect the hesitant reactions and it made me feel shameful to be a pregnant student. As my expecting belly grew I always noticed that people on campus would stare at my stomach.

As I walked past, their eyes followed my belly like I had a giant red felt "A" on my chest.

None of my classmates are pregnant and thinking back, I can't remember ever seeing a pregnant woman in all of my five years of college. Since none of my classmates were pregnant, I felt like I had no one to relate to. There are a lot of things that pregnancy effects, besides the baby in the tummy part. I could not go out and get drinks with my classmates and bond with them the way that they were all doing. I could not relate to them fashionably because maternity clothes are heinous. I also feel like pregnancy put up a barrier because I would have a baby eventually and will always be busy, so why bother?

Pregnancy side effects would sometimes take a toll on my school work. In the first trimester, I could barely get out of bed because I was so tired. I could easily have slept 14 hours straight and being a working student did not help. I would seep through some of my classes and had to take the hit to my attendance points. I also have "pregnancy brain." Pregnancy brain is a real thing and is not well known enough. My mind can be so scattered that I forget my friend's names while I am speaking to them. I think it is October when it is March. Pregnancy brain has made me forget that I even go to school or that I work in twenty minutes. I missed due dates or completely misread instructions on assignments. For someone who needs A's on every assignment to function, it hurt because I would never make that mistake otherwise.

There are also benefits to being a pregnant student. I am never hungover and I have never been tempted to ditch a night class for a drinking holiday.

Pregnancy has allowed me to prioritize my school work and ignore the college lifestyle.

Before I knew I was pregnant, I went with my roommates to bars in Chicago's Lincoln Park. I feel so happy knowing getting wasted from $3 shots on a Wednesday is behind me. I now truly have nothing better to do at night than complete my homework.

Another benefit is that you sometimes get special treatment. The special treatment that pregnant women get is awesome. It is my favorite part and sometimes makes me wish I could be pregnant forever. People feel obligated to wait on me hand and foot. If I drop something, people rush to pick it up. It is completely not necessary but I get to feel like a princess for a day (or 280 days). Even though I was singled out for being the only pregnant woman, I was always treated especially nicely by students and professors.

Regardless of my friends and family expecting me to drop out, I am doing phenomenal in grad school. I have received A's in every class and have loved all of my classes. Being a pregnant student can be tough, but it is totally doable. If you find yourself to be a pregnant student, don't feel discouraged. It is not ruining your college experience but allowing you to do college differently.

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