Mom And Dad Couldn't Prepare Us To Be College Students In The 21st Century

Mom And Dad Couldn't Prepare Us To Be College Students In The 21st Century

Yeah, definitely was not prepared for this at all!


Coming into freshman year, the only thing I knew going into college is what my parents told me. Small dorm rooms, terrible food, you know the gist. But what I didn't realize is the major difference in college in 1988 vs 2018. Personally, I feel like people in college in the 21st century have an advantage. We have the best technology, best teaching styles, and most importantly (well, at least at Alabama) some of the best food.

Being a college student in 2018 does have its advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.

My biggest concern going into college this year was the dorm situation. Everyone every year always complains about not having enough space, nasty bathrooms, bad washing machines, or having terrible roommates. The good thing about it is everyone has a different experience. Mine has been everything I could dream of. I have the suite style dorm (which my parents had never heard if).

The great thing about this style of living in college is the idea that I have my own room, two bathrooms between four people, and more space than I could imagine. The full-size closet, living room, and kitchen all to my three other roommates is something that is a necessity that makes freshman year in the 21st century complete. While there are many spaces on campus with the traditional dorm room, I feel like the suite style is one of the newer and most beneficial ways of living.

College food now is not the college food your parents ate. At most universities now, there are on-site fast-food restaurants like Chic-fil-A, McDonald's, or Subway. Even if you don't want fast food, there's still the option of various dining halls that serve amazing food. Way back in the day (not that long ago, but hey, I wasn't even born yet), most schools dining halls were only open during breakfast, lunch and dinner time.

SEE ALSO: To Our Dining Hall Staff, Thank You For Feeding Me And Thousands Of Others Every Day

There wasn't a large variety of food choices, so you had to live with what you good. Students now are spoiled, with the long hours of dining halls and the great chefs that work every day. Another drastic change with college food today is the food served in sorority and fraternity houses. The food there is the kind of food you would expect in a nice restaurant. It can't get much better than that.

The technological advances that we have now are insane. There are online classes and tests. Most everything that is done now has to be performed on a computer. Even your school ID card has everything you need on it: dorm key, football tickets, and money. We now have the ability to use our Apple Watches as a substitute for our student IDs...whoever came up with this idea was an actual genius. Technology now in college is so far beyond anything that anyone would have guessed. I'm so glad that people did what they did to get it this far because I could not imagine being here and not having a computer or my online classes.

Being a college student now is nothing compared to years past, or is nothing like how it will be in the future. We as students in the 21st century have a unique experience that only a few people will have. There have been many improvements to the college world that have made the experience worth it. 20 years from now, there will be so many more changes that we have no idea what's coming.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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My Best Tips On How To Be Successful in College

Coming into college can be intimidating. Maybe college is not so much intimidating as it is a challenge. However viewed, new place can take getting used to.


New Environment, New World!

Everyone's in the same boat as you. New school, new classes, new faces. Just go up and begin talking to the first person you see! It is scary, no matter who you are, but you do grow from meeting new people! Baby steps are steps, no matter what anyone says!

Go To Class!

This seems to fluctuate in many speeches that you probably hear when attending preview days or orientation. While college is filled with other things to do, you were sent to learn, and you learn in the classroom by the professor. Go to class.. you may miss something important.. or bonus points!

Ask Questions!

This is the part where pride falls and you admit you need help. Ask questions! If you can't find what you're looking for in Walmart, ask the workers. If you're unsure about something in a class, ask during or after! In meeting new people, you ask questions to learn about them! Many times people are scared to ask questions, whether it be fear of failure or of people. Finding information is just part of life, so don't be afraid to ask when you need to!

Get Involved!

Most upperclassman on campus will encourage you to get involved immediately with any organizations you feel lead to explore. Some may choose to enter Greek Life, religious communities, leadership roles, and many other opportunities! There's so much to do on campus! You can have as much or as little downtime as you wish. For some people, it may take a little longer getting involved, and that is alright! You call all the shots here. It's a whole new ballgame in college!


Speaking of ballgames, sports are so much fun! There's football, tennis, softball, basketball, baseball, and others as well as club teams and intramurals. Even if you don't enjoy sports, they are some of the best environments on campus AND you get rewards for attending! Sometimes they hand out free shirts, and sometimes they have free FOOD! (Who doesn't love free food?)

It's Okay To Not Know

So you're undeclared. I bet you hear "you need to choose a major" more than you would please to. Good news!!! - You don't have to know what you want to do right when you graduate high school. Every person is different. You have to figure out what works best for you!

Hopefully arriving at a new place will be an exciting experience - so much to do and see! After learning ins and outs, the place that seemed so big may not seem too big anymore. Nevertheless, the world is in front of you, so go out and get it!

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