College Isn't The Wake Up Call Everyone Said It Would Be

College Isn't The Wake Up Call Everyone Said It Would Be

My expectations were completely different than the reality I found on campus.
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I know that from reading the title of this article, many of you, particularly those of you reading this who are currently in college, must think that I am completely out of my mind. Most of us head to our freshman year of college expecting it to be a complete change from everything we have ever known before and in most cases, it is. I am not quite sure what precisely it was that I was expecting when I packed my bags and headed off to Hamilton. I was just convinced that everything would be different, and as somebody who is not a big fan of sudden change, I was less than enthused. Between trading in my comfortable bedroom to share a pint-sized shoe box suite with four other girls, having to trek miles across campus to get a meal that is mediocre at best, and having to abandon my beloved car due to no-freshman-allowed parking policies, leaving me stranded on our desolate campus, it all pretty much sounded like my own personal nightmare or at the very least, a big wake up call.

After surviving my first three weeks on campus, I can confidently say that it has not been a wake up call at all. In fact, not much has changed for me. Living in a dorm, which was perhaps my biggest pet peeve with the so-called "college lifestyle", has proven to be fairly easy. Of course there will always be that one imbecile who lives below me that blasts electronic dance music consistently during the middle of the day, prohibiting me from getting my mid-afternoon nap (Yeah, I'm talking to you room 203) and the fact that sharing a bathroom with five girls is less than ideal, but if those are the hardest challenges I will face living on campus, then I think I will manage. I wish I would have studied the layout of campus before moving in, because I would have realized that there is a dining hall within a 50-foot distance from my residence hall; I would have saved my food-loving self a lot of pre-college anxiety. As for not being able to have my car on campus- it isn't ideal, but it isn't terrible. Because I live only 40 minutes away from campus, it is fairly easy for me to get off campus on the weekends to go home, shop, visit with friends and family and do just about whatever I want. I have been surprised to find that I have significantly less assigned work in college than I did in high school, which a lot of people find impossible when I tell them. While I took 9 courses in my senior year of high school, Hamilton only allows students to take 4 at a time, which means I have a lot more spare time on my hands. However, the work that I have had to do in college is much more difficult than anything I have had to do previously and the assignments often require a lot more focus and introspective thinking in comparison to a majority of my high school work which was often nothing more than glorified busy work.

After experiencing the differences between expectation and reality during the beginning of my first year of college, I have just a few short words of advice, not only to those who will be entering college next year, but to everyone in all stages of life. Do not let your fears deter you from fully immersing yourself into everything you do. You will find that when you don't let your negative expectations consume your perspective, you are far more likely to be faced with a positive reality. It may be a long road that leads you to a new destination, but once you get there, you won't want to look back.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle McConnell

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

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They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


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