College is a huge change. It's not the sort of change that is necessarily easy, so the brain's way of coping is through imagining scenarios as if to prepare someone for the transitional period. In fact, there was a study done at the University of Michigan that dives into the depths of why humans do this.
Seeing as this is a common trend, it is only fair that most incoming college freshmen have thoughts as to what their time on campus would be like. After interviewing a number of students, here are their original misconceptions and what college actually turned out to be like.
1. The Professors
"[I thought] that teachers would be stricter about everything, and it would be harder to appease them. In reality, they understand we are still human beings, but they do have to take their subject seriously." – Kathryn Cabrera, Ramapo College of New Jersey
A lot of people don't realize that professors actually want you to succeed, and will be understanding of your mishaps and what not. They do vary strictness wise, but for the most part, they know what it's like to be in college and how hard it can be sometimes.
"Schoolwork is not too abysmal honestly. It’s definitely harder than high school, but you have help and support you know. Also, you have free time to do it. With high school you’re stuck in a five day cycle that doesn’t end." – Jordon, Gleniewicz Montclair State University
3. Attendance and Friends
"[I thought] that class was optional, when it really isn’t, and the thought that making friends would be hard." – Justyn Russo, University of Rhode Island
A lot of people come back from their first semester of college with stories of not showing up to half their classes. What they don't let on is that they barely passed the class, or they failed it altogether. Class is not an option. It's okay to miss a few here and there, but even if you somehow pass a class you do not attend, you will be paying for it later on. Trust me, it's not worth it.
4. Having to Party
"I always thought that partying was something you had to do in college, but it’s not true. If you aren’t a party person you will find plenty of people who also aren’t a fan of it so don’t worry!" – Emma Lamperti, The College of New Jersey
Despite what most people think, you don't have to party. If you like to, then that's cool, but if you don't, then that's cool too. You'll find other people with similar interests so you won't have to worry about feeling the need to party just to fit in. While a lot of college students enjoy partying, a good amount don't.
5. A Surplus of Motivation
"Probably that I would have energy to get up for class every day and not have to push myself to go. And that it would be totally different than high school." – Alex Stifelman, University of Maryland
Just because you're not suffering through high school, does not mean that you'll have a complete change of ways. Yeah, you'll probably be more inclined to want to do work because it's something you enjoy, but you're still human. You're not going to want to work hard all the time: cut yourself a break.
6. A Magical Fix to Your Problems
"[I thought] that everything would be better immediately when I came here, that it wasn’t just college, it was COLLEGE: THE MAGICAL PLACE WHERE ALL YOUR PROBLEMS GO AWAY. And I came here and I still ate poorly. And I was still lonely. But what I learned is that while it isn’t a panacea, college lets you be individual enough to address these problems. The atmosphere is so supportive and loving that these issues I bottled up before can be openly addressed now with the best group of friends of my life." – Jacob Manera, Drexel University
Going away to school doesn't fix everything. It just doesn't. What it does do is give you the tools to know yourself better, and find solutions to problems you might not have known existed.
7. Still Feeling Dependent
"[I thought] it would be really hard to adjust to life without my parents. I always thought that the responsibility of doing things on my own — the basics — would be really difficult. Now I think I am doing better here than I did at home and feel like an individual. Not to say I don’t need my parents anymore, but I just feel more like an adult." – Kim Lanholm Ramapo College of New Jersey
The thought of not having the people who literally wiped your butt as a baby is frightening. These are the people who have done everything for you, but now, you might rarely see them. It's a scary time, but it's a lot easier once you're actually in the situation.
"I thought that everyone would be wearing sweatpants and stuff." – Kara Sevola Boston University
Honestly you think people will be in sweats every day, but this is adulthood. Most of the time we're in pajamas... just kidding. People actually do dress nice a good portion of the time, but it's maybe even less than in high school.
All in all, college isn't exactly what you think it is. One thing is for sure — it is what you make of it. There are a hundred different paths laid out for you, and if you happen to not like one you can easily switch. Just remember to have fun along the way.
Lead Image Credit: Pexels