What Nobody Prepares You For In College

8 Things That Nobody Prepared Me For As A College Freshman

No amount of preparation was able to help me foresee these, but now that I've experienced them, I can share them with you with a little help from some insightful Daria GIFS.

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For an incoming freshman, college can seem like an extremely overwhelming undertaking. Personally, the idea of college excited me with its fresh new possibilities. However, I was a bit apprehensive about aspects of college, like sharing my living space for the first time or the ins-and-outs of getting involved on campus. I poured over hundreds of Youtube videos and articles geared towards helping college freshman, with promising titles like "What I Wish I Would've Known As a Freshman In College" or "Things You Need to Know About College". While it's true that they taught me a lot, here's 7 things I still wasn't prepared to experience as a college freshman.

1. You will get sick, and it will be terrible.

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I thought I would be one of the few lucky students who was not going to get sick at the start of college, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Not only did I get sick, I lost my voice for days and I had a terrible cough that kept me and my roommate, (Sorry, sis!) awake at night. Not only were many of the people in my dorm sick at the same time as me, but lots of the students in my classes were sick as well, which made the germaphobe in me feel hopelessly enclosed in a box of infirmity. Luckily, my antibodies and I have made it out on the other side, and we're here to tell you that you're gonna get sick, too.

2. The food may be good now, but give it two months.

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The allure of dining hall food is definitely a first-few-weeks of school phenomenon. Colleges like mine offer unlimited meal plans where students can dine at virtually any time they choose. But let's keep it real, you can only eat pizza so many times when the options aren't looking as appetizing as they were during Welcome Week. The food is *okay* at best, but it just doesn't compare to what I'm used to having at home. Every once in a while, though, the dining hall offers a banger that reinvigorates my nostalgic appreciation for what I've come to call "school food", so it's not all bad news.

3. Whether you come late to class or don't come at all, nobody cares.

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In high school, I was used to each class' daily roll call confirming my presence and the phone calls waiting at home if I was absent. But in college, professors often have hundreds of students to teach and simply don't have the time to confirm- let alone notice- if anyone is unaccounted for. That makes sleeping in during that 8 a.m. lecture a lot easier, but I would definitely dissuade from doing so, because you never know if and when there will be a pop quiz or crucial hints for the next big exam.

4. Alone time is hard to come by.

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You're socializing, you're really socializing! All. The. Time. In the hallways, in the bathroom, in your dorm room, in the common rooms, in the library (hopefully not in the quiet zones), on the quad...you get the point. If you're anything like me though, this kind of interaction is stimulating but sometimes very draining. All a girl needs sometimes is peace and quiet! I really cherish times where I can just be alone in my dorm room and chill out, but those times don't come around as often as you may think.

5. Friendships in college progress very, very quickly.

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Hopefully, you'll meet some great friends in college that you enjoy, because you'll end up being around them all the freaking time. You'll be getting meals together, going to class together, studying together, partying together, doing almost everything under the sun...together. This honestly can be pretty great for people who typically struggle making friends, because with the friends you do have, you will feel as if you've known them for two lifetimes because you literally spend every waking moment together.

6. Free time is a complete myth.

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I thought it was going to be hard to find things to do other than academics in college, but college has been by far the most involvement-centered endeavor I've ever been apart of. There's no end to the things offered outside of class that genuinely peak my interest. I simply don't have enough time in the day to do everything I want to do. Aside from the abundance of extra-curriculars, academics takes up a hefty amount of time as well. Most of the time, it seems I'm either in class, doing work outside of class, or procrastinating on work for class. Time is a hot commodity in college!

7. You may struggle with self-image.

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Since you're around people virtually 24/7, constantly seeing others' accomplishments can cause a lot of comparison and envy. Whether it's your friend's grades or your classmates cool club title, it can seem like everyone is doing better than you all the time. Personally, constantly being around other girls in my dormitory made me think very negatively about my image, as I was comparing my appearance and attributes to those of to those of girls I barely even know. It made me feel like I constantly needed to look presentable to be liked or that because I perceived someone to be much better looking than me, everyone thought so as well. The truth is that everyone is typically much too worried about how they look to be worried about how you look as well, so stressing and comparing is really no good!

8. Homesickness is real, no matter how far away you are.

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No matter how cool your campus is, no matter how many friends you've met, no matter how far (or close) you go for college, you will be homesick. Whether it's the longing you feel for sleeping in your own bed or whether you miss the deep one-way therapy sessions you had venting to your dog, you will miss home or some aspects of your home life. But, personally, homesickness has made me appreciate my home so much more and how blessed I am to have something to look forward to going back to on breaks.

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To The Professors Who Don't Put In Our Grades Until It's Too Late

Since you're not updating your grade book anyway, mine as well just forget about that D I got on last weeks exam

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Dear College Professors,

As finals are right around the corner, we are all wondering what we need to make in order to ace your class... or not fail your class. But how are we supposed to take the time to calculate this, when all we have is a single letter midterm grade? You may not realize but grades are the central focus of the school, and better yet, college. We strive to get an A and we study endless hours so we can achieve that goal. And for you to not be able to do us the simple favor of putting in that grade, is absurd.

Let's just say, Billy, with the purple hair who sits in the back corner, slacked the entire year and is assuming he has no better than a C in the class. We have a month left of school and he wanted to try to bring up his grade in creative writing, maybe not to an A, but he has come to the realization that he cannot fail the course because his parents cannot afford for him to retake the class. He recently was in the library writing his paper, and even missed the new episode of Game of Thrones episode, to make sure that his paper was golden.

Now it's been two weeks since he handed in that paper. Still no grade. The countdown is on, 10 days left of class and barely enough assignments to pull that grade up. He has 9 work shifts, 5 finals, 2 study guides, and 1 teacher that inputs all his grades. Poor Billy. With not a clue of what any of his grades are, and barely any time to go personally ask every professor for his grades, he's just going to strive to do the best he can on all of his finals.

Two weeks later...

Turns out Billy had a C+ in creative writing, but a D in logic, the class he assumed he was doing well in because he has only had a few assignments.

So points is, professors if you are not updating our grades regularly or at least a few times before and after midterms, we won't know what we are working with. Also being able to look at our grades directly, motivates us to want to fix a lacking grade or ultimately get the best grade possible. We become more determined when we see the number directly rather than when we're just guessing at it.

In high school, all my teachers always put our grades into the computer immediately, but now when school is more challenging and assignments are time-consuming and lengthy, THIS is when we're unable to see how we are doing. How is that fair?

So moral of the story, while we are studying for 5 exams, writing 2 papers and working a part-time job. Take a little stress off our backs and at least give us an estimate of where we are standing.

Thank you,

A frustrated student trying to raise her GPA

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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