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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My Friend Got Sick In The Dominican Republic

From visiting the beautiful beaches to spending six hours in a hospital of a foreign country.

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I visited the Dominican Republic from June 7 to June 14 this summer for my high school graduation trip. My family and best friend Jordan stayed at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana. I'm not hopping onto the bandwagon of all these stories coming out about this country that relies so much on tourism. I'm not here to condemn the resort or the country, because despite all the trouble I went through, I had an amazing time. I'm simply here to tell my story about what happened.

Right before we left for the trip, we heard all the stories about people dying in the country. This obviously made us all paranoid because we didn't want to end up like those people. We wanted to be careful. Most of the people who died at resorts had a drink from the minibar in the hotel and were poisoned by insecticides, had bloody diarrhea, throwing up blood, and had eventually had respiratory problems. We were aware of the symptoms and were knowledgable before going into this foreign country.

The first four days of the trip we were all having an amazing time. We enjoyed the beautiful beaches, swimming in the fourteen different pools, and eating like gluttons. I met so many beautiful and kind people from the Dominican Republic. Every person welcomed us as "familia", Spanish for family. On the fourth day, we decided to go on an excursion through the hotel. We went snorkeling and swam through the clear blue water. Jordan and I danced with the crew members on the boat. We shopped for souvenirs from locals and finally called it a day.

When we got back on the bus to the resort, my dad was shivering and was short of breath. His stomach was cramping and his forehead was on fire like he had a fever. After the longest thirty minutes of my life worrying about him, we finally made it back and he rushed to the bathroom. For the next twelve hours, he rested in the hotel room. The next day he was fine and had seemed to just catch a twenty-four bug.

Then, the next night Jordan was spending a lot of time in the bathroom. I figured it was just because she was adjusting the spicy food of the Dominican and that it would pass. In the morning when I had woken up, she told me had a fever and had been going to the bathroom every hour. My mom gave her anti-diarrhea medicine and she felt better the next day after resting in the room. We got her dinner of a small pizza and we went to bed, an uneventful day.

Jordan woke me up at 2 A.M. that night calling my name from the bathroom and asking for a trashcan. It was coming out of both ends at this point. After calling my mom and her dad, who was still in the U.S., we decided to call the resort doctor and have her come to the room. The doctor then determined that she was extremely dehydrated and needed to be transported to the hospital.

We got there at 4:30 A.M.. and Jordan had an IV put into her with anti-diarrhea medicine and saline. After multiple tests, the doctors said that she had a bacterial infection in her stomach. They gave her antibiotics and multiple packets of pills to take home and we left the clinic at 10:30 A.M. at last. She's going to be fine, but we were all scared because of all the news stories going on.

When we got back to the resort, multiple people who we had seen at the clinic came up to us and told us how their relatives experienced the same thing Jordan had. When I did some research, an article stated that 45 people had gotten violently ill from eating at the Toro restaurant at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana, which is where we ate the night before Jordan got sick.

We were lucky, you could say. I'm not sure it's necessarily all the resort's fault or the country's though. Although all these things happened to us, I believe that it's a matter of doing your research before you go to any country. Any country's food could make you sick. We don't know exactly where Jordan or my dad got sick from. All these bad news stories coming out could've played into why we reacted so harshly.

Saying all this, I would still love to visit the Dominican Republic again. I want to visit so many other countries across the world. For anyone else that is reading this and is scared to visit a country like this, I say just go for it. Know the risks, but know that there are rewards. You can't let fear hold you back from living your life, because dying in America is just as likely from other things.

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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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