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.