Two Truths and a Lie About What Starting College Is Actually Like
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Student Life

Two Truths and a Lie About What Starting College Is Actually Like

The real truth is, no matter how ready you think you are for college, you'll discover your own truths and lies when you get here, too.

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Two Truths and a Lie About What Starting College Is Actually Like
Mary Day

Senior year of high school is overwhelming filled with questions about college- where are you going, what are you majoring in, who are you rooming with, where are you living- and almost every person who asks about your future plans offers some sort of input or advice to ease the transition. Some of it we hold on to and use to shape our expectations for this new transition and some of it we don’t. After surviving on campus for almost a month now, I’ve got an idea for what the truths and lies you’re told all throughout your senior year regarding college life are.

1. You’re going to miss this. Truth.

I know. I didn’t want to believe it either. It’s also true when people say college is new and fun and exciting. It is. But in all its newness it can also be unfamiliar, scary, overwhelming, lonely. I spent so much of my senior year thinking about how ready I was to leave small town life and experience all of this newness, but when I arrived I realized all those teachers and coaches had been right. You’re going to miss it.

You think you’ve outgrown high school and the people in it, but you’re going to miss the familiarity of walking through the same hallways, seeing the same faces, talking to the same people. You think you’re ready to be independent, but you’re going to miss the comfort and routine of eating when and what your parents eat and having someone ask about how your day went.

You think you’re exhausted from the student athlete life, but you’re going to miss practice in the afternoon and that feeling game day brings. You think you’re bored and ready to go somewhere different, but you’re going to miss riding those same back roads blaring music with those friends you’ve had forever.

I’m not saying you won’t make new friends or have new and exciting experiences to fill these holes. You will. But stop looking so far into the future that you lose sight of all you get to do right now. You’re going to miss it.

2. If you think this is hard, wait for college. Truth.

Whoever said syllabus week was the best week lied in my opinion. I never before in my life had a teacher tell me on the first day of school the exact date and time of every due assignment, quiz, and test. After filling out my planner for the entire semester on the second day of classes, I was already feeling defeated. I realize now I had exaggerated a bit. The work load isn’t impossible, but it isn’t high school. The days of waiting to write your paper until the class period before and not studying for your science test but still receiving good grades are long gone. Bring your planner and your A game because the professors don’t play and the assignments don’t stop.

3. Life will slow down when you get to college. LIE.

Like I said, bring a planner. As an overly involved high school student- year round sports, clubs, academics, community service, youth group, social life- I was convinced that life without seven classes and three different sports teams, in addition to everything else, would be slower. I was so so wrong.

If you’re going to be successful in college, school requires more effort, like I already said. This effort translates into more time. You won’t be going to class from 8-3 but you’ll be spending those hours plus some studying and doing homework. They don’t exaggerate when they dub you with the title “full-time student.”

If you left high school as an involved and busy person, you will probably want to get involved on campus, and you should, but be prepared for the time commitment real involvement requires. You express interest in two or three opportunities or organizations on campus and soon you realize you have meetings and events to go to every night.

On top of school and involvement, you want to meet new people, so add time spent trying to make friends into the mix. Then add time spent walking everywhere you have to go and waiting in ridiculous food lines. Then remember that you’re independent and living in a shoe box so chores and grocery shopping and self-maintenance and sufficiency are all musts that require time of their own. They say sleep is good for you too, so in the mix of everything else, find some space to do that.

College is not all naps and parties like you’re picturing (although I guess it is and can be for some, but there are some major trade-offs in academic and extracurricular success if that’s the route you’re going.) Don’t delude yourself into thinking you’ll be bored without all of your high school activities like I did. New and more challenging time-suckers await!

So to all you high school seniors, as excited as you are and should be for college right now, don't wish it away. Don't waste the precious time and opportunities to make great memories you have now. It is important to be prepared for what you're getting into, and I hope this helps in that area, but it's most important to make the most of the now rather than just waiting for the future. The real truth is, no matter how ready you think you are for college, you'll discover your own truths and lies when you get here too.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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