No it’s not.
College is full of early mornings, all-nighters, stiff professors, and grumpy students. I’m now a junior and I’ve seen a lot. I didn’t fully understand what college was until I began attending…
Movies like Animal House and American Pie portray college as a big party full of topless easy women, beer, and sex. They don’t show you what happens behind the scenes. But where would the fun be in that? My point exactly. I am here to give you the not so pleasant details about college that I learned from experience. Are you ready? Oh I forgot to mention, if you want to party while you’re in college don’t count on being there long. Studying and attending class is MANDATORY.
Before you even start college (it doesn’t matter if it’s community, university, vocational, or technical) there are massive amounts of paperwork to be filled out. Paperwork with odd questions that don’t relate to anything such as your parents honeymoon destination back in 1975 or your dog’s social security number. Along with tax information from before you were born. Kidding, but it does feel like that once you feel out the 35 forms. Then once you have cramped up your wrist from doing that, you have to stand in lines to see where those papers should go. Once they tell you, you then must go explore the campus to figure out where the offices are or get a campus map. The employees of the college don’t give you anything on a silver platter, sadly. If you’re really lucky, they’ll even tell you to go to the wrong place. That’s fun. You’ll know the location of every building on that campus (big or small) by the time you’re done applying.
One of the most stressful parts of college is when you have to play the waiting game which consists of looking out the window constantly to see when the mailman passes then running out to your mailbox to see what size the letter is from the college. Normally if it’s a large envelope that means you got accepted!!! If it’s a small envelope then I’m afraid your hundreds of community service hours and lack of a social life in high school due to busting your butt in classes to have a reasonable GPA was all for nothing. But that’s highly unlikely so we shall stay positive because colleges like “well-rounded” students.
What about on campus housing? Is it really all it’s cracked up to be? I’m afraid the answer is to that is no. It is convenient, but it is also very expensive for what you get and you basically live at school. No one wants that. If you are a student who lives out of state normally or something along those lines then it is almost a must to live on campus. I’m sorry. I actually lived on campus from when I started college until May 2012. The worst part? Roommates. They try to fit you with people that have similar likes and dislikes as you but from my experience that’s a load of crock. Complete bullshit. Roommates can make your life bliss or hell. Or both.
College sounding fun yet?
Enough chit chat…
My freshman year consisted of getting used to the routine of going to class, finding where the classes were located (which wasn’t bad because I was lucky enough to attend a small university), finding out which professors were great or terrible, meeting new people who were worth the trouble and discovering those who were not, meeting roommates, and starting an on-campus job. Of course my freshman year was a bit dramatic. I was 19 and stressed out because this was all so new to me. I didn’t have a vehicle so that was the reason I got a job on campus. I worked for the yearbook and newspaper as a writer and rather enjoyed myself at first. As time went on, I realized the college students basically running the joint weren’t so great at it. So lesson learned from that- don’t get an on campus job unless you have to. It really isn’t worth it. Now for the professors…this is a tough one. The teachers who teach you in college have way different attitudes then the ones in high school. Let’s go ahead and say high school is WAY simpler. You think high school was bad? Go to college. It’ll change your mind and make you appreciate high school. I know it did that for me. Professors in college don’t cut you much slack and if they do then you got lucky! Unless you are dying, you really don’t have a good excuse or reason to miss class. That is how they think. Sick and can’t get out of bed, but didn’t go see the doctor? Tough shit. You can’t make up that exam you missed or turn in that paper late that you worked countless hours on trying to finish. College definitely toughens you up and gets you prepared for REAL life. I hate when people use the term “real life”. Isn’t all life real? Anyways…I won’t even go on about that. When you are scheduling classes, you should first ask your friends (ones who have been at the college longer than you) or your adviser which professors are good to take because trust me, a great (understanding, patient, friendly) professor is worth the effort of tracking down. A great professor is also the fine line between passing and failing believe it or not. There’s a handy website called http://www.ratemyprofessors.com that helps you find out which professors are indeed hot or not. No, seriously. It has an option to rate them with their looks. It ALSO helps you figure out which ones are really good at their jobs. You’ll want that just in case your friends have no clue who you’re talking about when you say, “do you know if Schledannoodle is a good professor?” It happens, but don’t fret. If you do indeed find yourself in a situation where you got stuck with a faulty teacher and can’t get on with the program then drop the class. Do NOT stay in the class and fail it. An “F” does NOT look good on your transcripts nor does it bring up your GPA. But you already knew that. I hope.
Once you find yourself in the class with a good professor then the fun begins. Do NOT procrastinate. It really is the devil reincarnated. It will get you so behind and in trouble. Luckily, I never had that to worry about that too often because I hate waiting. Now with big and scary term papers…that’s a different story altogether. My waiting consisted of starting 3-4 days before the due date then panicking when I had 1,900 words when I needed at least 2,000 on Tuesday when it would be due on Thursday.
Speaking of big and scary papers, find someone who is good in English and editing and make them your best friend! Getting a professor to help you with your paper may be a good idea at first, but you’ll most likely have A LOT of questions (especially if it is your first paper) and they will secretly get frustrated with answering the 10 emails they have from you in their inbox at 2am.
I passed all of my classes and survived that first semester even though I went through some stressful incidences. I also changed my major from English to Business Administration then to Mass Communications. Bad idea. DO NOT DO THAT. Or else you will graduate with a degree in Professional Student.
My sophomore year went a little better for me. I met more new people, some of which I regret giving the time of day, but that’s no use now. You can’t cry over spilled milk. I made honor roll one of those semesters, which sounds incredibly huge, but really you just need to work your butt off. I also changed majors AGAIN. That would be a reason why I’m 21 and not quite a senior yet. My major/ passion (or so I thought at the time) was Human and Health Performance which consisted of me wanting a career in athletic training. Yep, can you imagine my 5’2 chubby self training 6’5 300 pound football players? Yeah I didn’t think so.
My junior year is still in progress. It has been an interesting one for sure. I started in 2012. I made honor roll last semester after working my butt off. Plus I changed my major again to the one I’m sticking with. Psychology. It is awesome and I absolutely love it. Not all psychology majors are in fact crazies, but we are open minded. I plan on becoming a couples therapist (or in layman’s terms a marriage counselor- haha) after I finish graduate school. Yes, only 6 years of college if I’m lucky to get where I want to be.
Senior year- to be continued at a later date…when I’m actually a senior.
I currently have over 70 hours worth of blood, sweat, and tears.
The main thing I want to say about college is no matter what happens, no matter how hard it gets, stick through it and graduate. And don’t change your major 10 billion times like I did. I’m iffy about staying in college sometimes, but everyone goes through that. It passes.
On the bright side, I did another survey asking friends what their favorite (I figured it would be more inspiring) part of college is/was:
- “that you can finish”
- “there was always something going on…and the good teachers there were few but those few were great”
- “making new friends!!!!”
- “the challenge…sometimes of just staying awake!”
- “the times I parked where I shouldn’t when I didn’t want to be late for class, and I didn’t get a ticket”
- “drinkin’, women”
- “making new friends”
- “allowing more job choices since receiving my degree”
- “the diversity, the learning, you get to be the person you want to be, not being judged for being different, the new experiences being in the city, you always meet someone new everyday, and of course the new found independence”
So even though there are quite a few negatives to college life, there are much more positives, most of which come after you graduate. And you have to remember…college is NOT supposed to be fun. It’s a learning tool for preparing you to be good at the career of your dreams.
Until next time…