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Is College Really Like they Say it Is

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

When most people think of college, they think of parties and freedom and basically anything that movies have portrayed it to be. As with most other entertainment depictions, what tv shows is usually far different than what happens in reality. Everyone’s college experience is different, so some people may actually live out the stereotypical college experience, while others don’t. Every class and teacher you encounter is different.

So I will go over some things that people say about college and what I found to be true or not. But take this with a grain of salt because it might be different for people who aren’t bio majors or commuting to their school.

Things that were true:

Being stressed out.

Let me tell you somethin. First semester, everything was good. I did have to spend more time reading and doing homework than I did in high school, but it wasn’t too bad. I was still chillin on the weekends. Then came 2nd semester. I don’t know who gave it permission to treat me with such disrespect, but I was not a fan. I for real cried. So. much. Ask my mom and my (close) friends. It wasn’t even that the work was extremely hard, for me, it was that I didn’t have enough time. I felt like needed more time to be able to study more and actually absorb the information. Don’t let this scare you away from going to college. Once again, I am a bio major so it might be different for other majors or even other bio majors. I’m still alive, so you will be too.

Having more freedom.

In college, they for real treat you like adults. Because, I mean, technically we are. This is two-fold though. On one hand, it’s cool because you don’t have people breathing down your back forcing you to do stuff. But on the other hand, there is waaaaay more responsibility. Professors expect you to know when assignments are due and when tests are happening, if you make a mistake, it’s on you. Some professors, are more lenient than others. My spanish professor asked us when we wanted certain assignments to be due and she still gave us grace when we forgot to bring our essays to class. She obviously became my favorite.

Textbooks being expensive.

It really makes no sense as to why textbooks are so expensive. They aren’t even that good. In certain classes, you might be able to get away with not buying the book, but that was not the case with any of my courses.

Tests being harder.

Once again, I experienced both ends of the spectrum. In some classes, I studied very very minimally. But then you have classes like chem and bio, and all of a sudden you feel like all of your intelligence has left you. But then you have to remember that tests don’t define your level of intelligence.

You get to pick your own schedule.

This is one thing that I really love about college for obvious reasons. End of story.

Things that were not true:

You’ll get to take classes you actually like.

Eventually you get to choose the classes that you want to take, but for the first two years of college, you spend a lot of time taking general education courses that don’t necessarily have anything to do with your major. This can allow you to take some pretty cool courses that you wouldn’t have taken otherwise, but it also makes you take classes that may not be your favorite.

Teachers don’t care if you show up to class.

Coming in to college, I was under the impression that I never had to show up for any of my classes. Not that I wouldn’t show up ever, but just that there wouldn’t a penalty for me not being there. This is true in most classes, usually large lectures or classes where the teachers are more lenient, but it does not hold true for labs or smaller classes. In fact, in my labs, if you missed more than 3 classes, you were automatically failed for both the lab and the lecture (for some science classes you attend lecture twice a week and attend a lab once a week which is a hands on experience of what you have learned in lecture). Even if you were to miss one day of lab, you would have to make up the work you missed in that same week or else you get a zero for the ENTIRE lab. Some labs have quizzes every week when you walk in, and those are the worse ones to miss. So if you need or skip class (or if you just feel like it) make sure you know how it will affect both your grade and what you learn.

You’re gonna regret taking morning classes.

All I would ever hear is people talking about how terrible morning classes were and how you were going to regret taking a class so early...but I actually like them. Sure you have to wake up early, but you’re already used to it from high school, so you might as well keep the ball rolling. Also, when you take morning classes, it allows you to get all of your schooling out of the way so that you be done at least by 3 and do whatever you want (or study) later. In life, my goal is always to get things that have to be done finished first so that I can do what I want to do later. Morning classes really aren’t that bad. You’ll live.

And regarding the whole "party" scene of college, there definitely are a lot of hang outs and events going on, whether they are school events or the house party types. I ended up going to a few on school events, but as for the other types of parties, not at all. It's not really my style, so it was very easy to stay away from those types of environments, but if that's your thing, you'll be able to find the opportunities.

This first year of college overall went pretty well, but by the last month, I was more than ready for it to be over. I studied harder than I ever had before and got some of the lowest test grades I have ever seen. I cried more times than I wanted to, but I made it through. It’s weird because I hate being overly stressed but I still enjoy the challenge, it’s kind of cool to be stretched past your limits. It helps you to enlarge your capacity but also pushes you to ask for help, which is definitely something I can always be better at. Regardless, I couldn't be happier to be done for a few months. Summer break, I am so grateful for you.

If you’re wanting more tips for how to transition from high school to college, stay tuned! I will be posting an entry on this topic a little bit before school starts back up in August.

Until next time,



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