After graduating high school and heading to college, I’ve picked up some nuggets of wisdom along the way. As I typed the list below, I felt like the most cynical asshole ever. Please understand that I am not trying to be negative. These things are not accurate for everyone I completely realize that. However, after watching myself and my friends make our way through the early years of our higher education, we all pretty much agree on the following five things that aren’t true about college:
- The Freshman Fifteen is NOT a Myth
- High School Fully Prepared You For College
- You’re Going to Follow a Four Year Time Line
- Graduation = Clarity
- You’re Going To Meet Your Husband In College
The Freshman Fifteen Is NOT a Myth
When I was in high school all I heard about was gaining the “freshman fifteen” when I went off to college. “Yeah right.. I’m going to be model thin for the rest of my life, fifteen pounds my ass,” said ignorant doesn’t know anything about her body/the way that the world actually works Me. Yeah… um ladies… it’s real. You might not gain fifteen entire pounds, but if you’re not careful you WILL pack on a few. First of all, your bodies are still growing and changing at that period of time. I was a late bloomer so I still wasn’t fully filled out until about sophomore year of college. Secondly, like many, you tend to experiment with alcohol and the wonders of bar crawls and beer bongs. Alcohol = empty calories. DO NOT forget this. If you just HAVE to get your buzz on, try a vodka soda or a light beer. It’s better than nothing!
High School Fully Prepared You For College
Remember all of those busy work study packets your high school teachers made you complete? The apparently detrimental need to work on your mental math skills? Yeah, totally not using those “skills” now. I long for the days of homework assignments and grades that aren’t weighted as 20% of my final grade. Homework ceases to exist. Enter five grades for the entire semester. Time management and note taking become your best friends in college. I love being held accountable for learning and comprehending the material myself, but there is something to be said for the beautiful simplicity of homework assignments due the next day.
You’re Going To Follow a Four Year Timeline
While I am not completely finished with college yet myself, I definitely expected to complete it a bit faster than I will have. While it isn’t unrealistic to graduate in four years, it often doesn’t go the way that we planned. Sometimes classes are harder than we expected and we have to retake them. Sometimes it gets hard balancing school and work. Stuff happens. If your college timeline doesn’t happen just like you expected, don’t beat yourself up about it.
Graduation = Clarity
Going into college I, like a lot of my friends, expected that we were going to magically have clarity and a clear life direction after graduating from college. Some people do graduate with promised job positions, kick ass starting salaries, and a fiancee. But for most, it’s just not realistic. Like any situation, you just need to work hard, stay focused, and the rest will fall into place. Yes, it is quite terrifying taking one step closer to becoming a “big girl” with no clear path. But what are you gonna do? Keep on keepin on!
You’re Going To Meet Your Future Husband In College
This brings me to my last point. While my best friend is engaged at 22 (she’s a bad example), most people graduating aren’t. It has always been a pipe dream of mine that I was going to find the love of my life and be happily engaged by senior year. Yeah…. no. I knew nothing about relationships at the time (and still don’t) and assumed I would be ready for something like that at this time. I am the farthest from being in a position of being able to commit my life to someone right now. Right now it’s all about me and that’s the way that it should be. This is your time to be young and free. Use your time wisely and go for your dreams and aspirations!