Being in college has been one of the best experiences of my life. It is more than anything I ever imagined. However, these two years so far have been very challenging to me. I can feel myself being molded, chipped, shaped, and grown every single day. I am not the same person I was in high school, and I am so glad for that. I would be more concerned if I was the same person after two years.
However, with all the things about college that I love, there are things that I never expected in college. I’m sure my audience probably includes some high school students, and I don’t want to scare you away from the possibility of attending colleges. But movies and images about colleges don’t tell the full story. So whether you are about to enter college, thirty years removed from college, or somewhere in between, here’s a list about what people don’t tell you about college for your entertainment or instruction.
They don’t tell you that college…
- Is not all about partying- This is one of the biggest misconceptions about college. You hear all the time that’s all college students do. It’s not. While you may know people who throw or attend parties, attending them yourself is ALWAYS a choice. I won’t lie to you, I have been invited to parties. But that’s not really my scene, so I don’t go. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything because I’m not consuming alcohol or staying out until 3 A.M. every weekend.
- Is not as hard as it seems- Yes, college is more difficult than high school. It’s supposed to be. But it is not impossible. The largest paper I have written for any class at this point has been 19 pages, but that was also a 300-level class. I am not writing 19-page papers for my basic 100-level courses. It gets harder as you go, but it is not impossible.
- Is not just a bunch of lectures- If you’re a consistent reader of my blog, then you have probably read about my Art in Paris game or the Trial of Galileo one. Even if you haven’t read the posts I’ve written about those, I can tell you firsthand that college is not all lecture halls all of the time. I have had a couple large lectures, but most of my classes have had no more than 30 people in them. And it’s not just sitting there copying notes as a professor reads off a PowerPoint. We’ve had food, games, guest speakers, visits to the art museum on campus, student presentations, music, and much more. It’s hardly “just a lecture”. I even got to make a map on digital software!
- Does not usually mean the same amount of homework as in high school- There are days I have no homework. Some of the “homework” for some of my classes is usually just reading, with an occasional essay. My classes in college usually provide longer deadlines as well so that I can focus on other classes first.
- Does not mean that you have your life all planned out- People change their major, they come in undecided, or they don’t know what they are going to do with their degree. Going to college is not an automatic ticket for having your life planned out for you. It’s okay to not know.
- Doesn’t have cliques- There is genuinely no sense of “popularity” in college. You find a group of friends, and you stick with them. Cliques don’t really exist in college. Everyone’s schedule is so different. Really, nobody else cares. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean that there aren’t really any competition. Nobody is going to care that you showed up to class in sweats. Anything embarrassing doesn’t get spread around the entire school.
- Is not all free time- There are so many opportunities and things to do, even just on a college campus. But, you are there to get an education first and foremost. Make sure that’s a priority to you. Have fun, but go to class and do your homework.
- Does not have to be expensive to be good- Yes, most colleges are expensive. But you don’t have to go to the most expensive college in the world to get a good education. Community or even local colleges are great for certain things and usually a fraction of the cost.
- Can expand your horizons and provide opportunities like you’ve never seen- There are so many clubs you can join and so many study abroad opportunities (if you have time or money). College is a blend of cultures and lifestyles, and there is so much you can learn that doesn’t even require a classroom. People from all religions and walks of life that all have their own story. You can learn so much if you just give it a chance.
- Is more than what you’ll ever expect- Listen, I know everyone is going to have a different college experience. But I can promise you that no matter what, it’s nothing like you’ve ever experienced before.
College is new, different, and completely wonderful. Like any new thing in life, it can be scary, but it can also be an incredible learning experience if you let it.
What are your thoughts about college?
Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments!