On Tuesday, I finished the last class of my sophomore year. This coming Monday, I will take my last final, thus completing my second year and the approximate halfway mark for me at Longwood University.
Over the course of the past two years here, I have learned quite a bit about both college and myself. I definitely had some inaccurate ideas coming into college, but some things I was fairly on the mark for.
When I first came to Longwood, I had more than a handful of preconceived notions regarding college. Some of them were entirely accurate: some people walk around in their pajamas all day every day and some people (particularly girls) show up to every class with a thought-out, Instagram-worthy outfit. College students are also exceptionally loud. I think the general, usually good-natured rowdiness of college is displayed well in media and I came in with realistic expectations on that front.
But more interestingly, let me give you a sampling of the many things I was so wrong. My first big surprise last year was that the RA on my floor didn't want to be besties with all the residents. Eighteen years of media told me that the RA would be super friendly and my first friend on campus. The RA I had was competent and wasn't unkind, but it was immediately clear she meant business and wasn't looking for first-year friends. That was shock #1, chronologically.
Socially, my expectations were mostly off. I thought I would be friends with, but not particularly close to, my roommate. I was so wrong. She's my best friend now, and we're registered to live together again for an upcoming third year.
Another social expectation I was wrong about was that I thought everyone in college (or at least me when I got to college) would be dating a ton and going to many parties. My first semester of college, I went to all of one party.
I also had some wonky expectations with classwork. I took to heart the myth that for every hour in class, you'll need to study 2-3 hours outside of class. Do I have homework and projects and study time for class? Absolutely. Do I need 30-45 HOURS A WEEK to do it? Absolutely not.
I also thought that there was absolutely no way I'd change my major, and it took just over a semester for that to happen. I don't think it was ever emphasized to me that most college students change their major, often multiple times. I'm now studying two minors and a major in three different fields I originally didn't intend to study. Funny how life works out that way.
At this point in my college career, I'm amazed at all the things I've been wrong about, and can't wait to see what the next two years will teach me as well.