"Oh, you'll just love college."
"College will be the best four years of your life."
"Just wait until you get to college and meet The One."
"College is where you figure out who you want to be."
Just stop. First of all, not everyone loves college. Not everyone has the privilege of having their college paid for. Not everyone falls in love with someone in college. Not everyone enjoys going out and partying, which is usually what people are thinking of when they reference college being their favorite years.
For some people, college is just getting an education so they can move on with their lives; it's working hard and taking no breaks. Some people don't get to go to college until their 40s, long past the time for the "typical college experience." Telling people that college is the best time of their life is basically telling them that after college your whole life goes to sh*t, and that they have nothing else to look forward to because the best years are already gone.
If college truly is the best time of your life, why do people choose to keep living afterwards? Because according to that statement, life is essentially over at 22 or 23 years old.
In addition, telling people this puts so much pressure on them to enjoy themselves. High school graduates go off to college thinking that college is the period of time where life is perfect, only to find out that it's not. It's just the picture that was painted for them. I know I went into college with this picture in my head only to find that in college, you still feel incredibly stressed, exhausted, depressed, and a lot of other negative emotions. You still meet people you don't like, you still experience failure, you still feel lost.
"College is easy. Just wait until you get to the real world then it gets hard."
Scaring young people with talks of the "real world" makes them feel like they aren't allowed to think life is hard just because they are at a certain point in their lives. Newsflash: College is hard. And yet, I felt like I wasn't allowed to think so, I was supposed to think of college as carefree and fun.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my college experience. I've met great people, for the most part I've figured out what career I want, I have grown more confident, and I have had a lot of fun. I have made memories that will last me a lifetime, and I am so excited to experience my last two years. However, even though I've had a lot of fun, I still feel the pressure from society to enjoy myself more. I sometimes feel like I'm not living my college experience the way society dictates I should,
As much as I've enjoyed college, I am also excited to graduate so I can experience more of life. I can't wait to adopt a pet of my own, I can't wait to truly live by myself, and I can't wait to grow up alongside my friends.
I don't think college will be the best time of my life; I think that each period of life has good and bad parts. No age is perfect, because it's life. In life, you are constantly evolving because of failures and successes, and you can't change for the better without the bad. Real life doesn't stop just because you are in college, just like it won't stop once you graduate.
So I'm asking people to please stop making mass generalizations about other people's lives. Not everyone is going to have the same experience as you.