Expectations of College vs. Reality

For the last 18 years, school was routine. You woke up, went to school for six and a half hours and then came home. It was almost an automatic thing to do. But then, this world decided to create something known as college, which would flip the world upside down forever. People ponder what college is like and create these fantasies in their heads of what it is going to be like.

Well, here are some pretty real realties of what college is like:

1. Professors will not help you.

Believe it or not, most professors are going to be there for you. Yes, you may have the occasional professor who doesn’t even bother to answer your emails, but for the most part, professors are available. It can be intimidating to approach your professor for extra help, but do not fret. Once you talk with them once, you will feel way more comfortable going to them for extra help. If your professor sees you willing to put an effort into your work, they will be more appreciative of you. And if your grade needs some bumping up at the end of the semester, that connection you formed may come in handy.

2. Syllabus week is the time to party.

As far as I am concerned, syllabus week was nowhere to be found. The first day of classes consisted of a five minute debriefing of the syllabus followed by lots of note taking. By the end of “syllabus week,” I had become swamped in assignments. I did not go out any night that week, and neither did most people I knew. At least at Sacred Heart, syllabus week is a myth.

3. Moving in

Before moving in, you and your future roommate probably had a whole theme picked out, complete with beautiful decorations from Crate &Barrel. You were so excited to decorate a room how you wanted.

And then, you show up to the extremely small box they call a room and are immediately disappointed. Your dorm room is still cute, it just looks like the off-brand version of what you envisioned. Your room will not be neat at all times and look like it’s out of a magazine, but you have to work with what you got.

4. Frats are awful.

I think we all have a type of vision in mind when we hear the word “frat boy.” Someone who likes to mess around, drinks his life away and is rude to girls. However, I can confidently say that all the boys that I’ve met in a frat are some of the nicest people I have met in my life. They are always respectful and love just talking. I really enjoy meeting them and just know, they aren't what you may think they are.

5. Party every day

College is the time to break away from your parents and just let loose and party on a Tuesday, right? Nope. It turns out, most people are staying in, doing their homework every night. Thursdays are the occasional night to go out, but that has definitely decreased in frequency since I’ve been at school. Fridays and Saturdays are the days where everyone goes wild together, but do not count on going out every night of the week.

6. You will have so much free time.

Probably the most common thing you hear about college is that you have so much free time to binge Netflix and hang out with your friends. As much as I wish this was true, it is not the case. My days usually consist of three classes a day, followed by hours and hours of homework and studying. I have watched two episodes of a TV series since I have been at school. You do make time to hang with your friends, but TV seems to fall out of priorities once you get to college. If you manage your time correctly, you may be able to squeeze in an episode or two, but it is much more fun to hang with your friends than stay in your dorm watching TV sometimes.

7. You are on your own in college.

The main thing your high school teachers incessantly remind you is how you are on your own for college. That is the furthest thing from the truth. You truly have an entire support system behind you ready to help. Whether it be from friends, professors, RA’s, your family, or even yourself, just remember you are never alone. Someone will always be there to help you. College is what you make it, and it can be the best experience of your life if you take advantage of the right opportunities.

College isn't everything they say it is, but I promise you that it is worth it. Everyone is in the same boat, exploring something new. So, be kind and open to new experiences and let your perceptions of college stay in the past so you can truly appreciate your new life.

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