I just got done with my first week of college, and boy, was it something. It's definitely not like being in high school at all, and often times, I was either surprised or shocked. It wasn't anything too extreme; I mean, I had a good amount of expectations thanks to some upperclassmen and people who have been through all this already. I decided to highlight a few of those unexpected moments for multiple audiences: those in high school who are really excited for college, upperclassmen who want to remember what it was like, and college-senior me, who one day will look back at this and laugh.
1. People just start talking to you as if they've known you for years.
Some people are automatically comfortable with you, and they start swearing up a storm and talking about their families and personal lives before even introducing themselves.
Okay, it's not that extreme, but it was slightly strange the first few times this happened to me. I'm thankful for these people, though, because I came into college as a reserved person. I started doing the same thing as them (in a less extreme manner), and I've made a whole bunch of new friends. I've even gotten in the car of a person I met just a week ago, and I already (sarcastically and playfully) dislike someone I met three days ago. College, I tell ya'.
2. You have homework every day.
I was already up to my eyeballs in homework by the second minute of my first class. I have spent a collective total of four million hours in the library this week, either reading, writing, or trying to stay awake.
In all seriousness, though, it's been a heavier workload than I'm used to. It's definitely not like high school, where the only reasons I ever went to the library were for club meetings and to not be in class. I had to resort to purchasing a planner to keep track of everything. I've even stayed up past midnight already to finish an assignment. Of course, it was because I decided to go to the movies late at night to take advantage of my student discount, but that's beside the point. Respect my struggle.
3. It's kind of necessary to be social.
I know, I shuddered at the thought of this when I first started too. It's really not that bad, though. I came to school with a few people that went to my high school, and I started off talking to them a lot. But there were times when they weren't around or when they had other friends around. I actually avoided lunch one afternoon because I didn't want to be alone. I was kind of forced to talk to people in order to avoid looking strange and anti-social. That's actually okay though. Now I have plenty of new friends who probably won't mind having lunch with me.
4. You really are on your own here.
You're not alone in the social sense, but you take on a bunch of responsibilities all of a sudden. To begin with, there are no bells to dismiss you from class. You better be ready to leave at the exact minute your class ends, especially if you have to sprint to the other building for your next class. And no one here reminds you to eat. Thankfully, this wasn't an issue for me, but it can be hard to remember to eat when you're running on two hours and twelve minutes of sleep. No one dismisses you, no one gives you detention for eating in class, you can wear hats in buildings and headphones in the hallways. It's wild, isn't it? It's good, though. You really learn to be an adult who is a grown-up, and you can decide whether it's a good idea or not to be cool and stay up until one in the morning. (It's not.)