It’s almost that time of year again. The days are getting shorter; the emails are filling up your inbox more often; and you don’t feel as free as you did in the beginning of summer, like something is about to hold you down. It’s time to go back.
Many people, including myself once upon a time (last year), have this idea about college, that it has the power to change things, to change you. And it does, but not always in the way you’re hoping. College isn’t some magical place where everything is better and everything gets better. At first it may seem that way but eventually the magic wears off and you realize that life in college isn’t really any different from life outside of college.
I was rather disappointed when I started to understand that college wasn’t going to be everything I had allowed all those book and movies lead me to believe. So here is the truth (or at least my truth) about college for all you people out there getting ready to turn to the next chapter of your life. Don’t get too discouraged by what I am about to tell you, because although your college experience may not turn out to be exactly as you imagine, I’m confident it will still be pretty awesome.
- Your freshman dorm room will be tiny. Remember all those nice big rooms you saw during your college visit, the suites with private bathrooms and kitchens, well don’t let the show fool you. College visits are meant to entice prospect students, they want you to believe that they only have the best to offer you. What they don’t tell you is that their best isn’t offered until much later on. There is a very tiny, miniscule chance you will be living in a nice dorm room your first year unless you have connections, and even then, those may not get you as far as you hope. Those nice, comfy looking rooms won’t belong to you until your junior year, maybe even your sophomore year if you’re lucky. When I think back to my college visit at the college I now attend, I don’t even remember seeing a dorm room, maybe that’s why I cried with shock when I saw the one I would be calling home for the next year. If it weren’t for the big closet I would have considered living at home, but then I remembered in a dorm room there aren’t any parents to watch my every move.
- Being the hot new freshman only lasts for so long. When you first arrive on campus, there is an air of mystery about you. Not a lot of people, if none, know who you are and you don’t know who they are. Guys, and girls, will take full advantage of that. But after awhile, you’re not fresh meat anymore, you’re not as relevant as you once were. People know who you are, and if you tried to be someone else, the act has worn off. You’re just a regular like everyone else. But if you’re lucky, you might find a great guy or girl during that period of time, and even after.
- The Freshman Fifteen is real. We all go into college thinking it won’t be us, or at least hope and pray it won’t be us. And maybe it won’t be you packing on the pounds but it will definitely happen to someone you know. Here’s a nice little piece of advice, although the tubs of ice cream and trays of cookies and the fries and burgers may be tempting, learn to control yourself and your urges. Limit the amount of junk you allow yourself to eat, because it may taste really good at the time, but trust me, it won’t feel so good when you can feel the rolls of fat accumulating on your back. Make sure along with the library, the gym becomes one of your best friends too.
- Freshman year is not always the hardest year. Most people tell you your freshman year will be the toughest year of college because on top of adjusting to a new and more challenging curriculum you have to adjust to a new living arrangement. Sometimes the combination of everything can become too overwhelming. However, if you go into college with a great work ethic from high school, and are willing to learn how to compromise and adapt to new things, you’ll survive and you’ll thrive.
- Just because everyone is older in college, it doesn’t mean everyone is wiser. When I was in high school I couldn’t wait to go to college. I was so tired of all the people and their immaturity and their foolishness. I thought things would change once I hit college, but the truth is, people are still just as immature and ridiculous as the kids I went to high school with. A new place doesn’t always mean new people; it just means different versions of them.
- College goes by way too quickly. I know it’s cliché, but it’s honestly so true. My freshman year went by in a blur, and I’m so scared for how quickly the rest of my time at college will go. I’m not ready for the real world and the real bills and the real work. Appreciate every minute and every new experience and hold on to the friends you make while you’re there. Make the most of your time, because once you graduate, everything will change.