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College: Expectations vs. Reality

Inspired by movies and crazy stories told by older siblings and cousins, we all envisioned what college would be like. However, it isn’t until freshman year that we can finally distinguish the facts from the fiction. Here are a few common myths and their realities for your enjoyment:

Dorm Room

Expectation: Inspired by pottery barn catalogues and Pinterest, you and your roommate will coordinate to create a perfect catalogue worthy oasis complete with matching bedspreads, beanbags, and twinkly lights. 


Reality: Yes there may be twinkly lights, but chances are your room doesn’t have the square footage to ever be pottery barn worthy.  If you’re lucky you and your roommate are both neat and keep your room in reasonable shape. If not your room most certainly looks more like a tornado hit. 



Expectation: You’ve heard all about the freshman fifteen and are determined to keep off the pounds by keeping your dinner plate full of veggies and lean meats.  The salad bar even has quinoa. How hard could it be? 


Reality: Pizza always somehow always ends up on your plate and you can’t stay away from the waffles and ice cream.  You should know better, but that chocolate brownie is just too hard to resist… Body acceptance here I come! 



Expectation: You’re super excited about all of the people you met during orientation. You were so nervous about making friends and are so grateful that you’ve found a nice group. You can’t wait to spend four years with your new besties!


Reality: Wow, by second semester most of the people you thought were your friends at the beginning of school you don’t even see anymore. 



Expectation: Besties forever!! It’s gonna be like a endless sleepover and you and your roomie are going to bond over everything from eating Ben and Jerry’s to late nights talking about boys and classes. 


Reality: Only if you’re lucky! You may be on friendly terms you’re your roommate and maybe even enjoy a few occasional lunch dates. You are just hoping to keep things cordial and respectful to avoid any unnecessary drama. 


Working Out

Expectation: When you toured school for the first time, you thought the gym was totally awesome. You fully expected to be there everyday taking full advantage of its facilities.  And while you’re at it, who knows, maybe you could even pick up the numbers of a few cute and super fit athletes. 


Reality: Let’s be honest, the walk to the gym is way too far. And after walking up all those hills and stairs to class, who needs to go to the gym anyways? 



Expectation: You cannot wait for college parties! Margarita Monday, Boozday Tuesday, Thirsty Thursday, the list goes on and on.  Party all day everyday! 


Reality: The majority of your nights are probably spent chilling with friends and streaming Netflix which is kinda a good thing because whether you’re going to frat parties or dorm parties they are definitely not as glamorous as you thought and neither is that massive hangover you have the next morning.  



Expectation: You know college is way harder than high school and are determined to stay on top of all your studies.  The library’s going to be like your second home. 


Reality: Can you even remember the last time you did the reading for that big lecture class? Essay due tomorrow that you haven’t started? You definitely put the pro in procrastinator. 


Even if college wasn’t exactly what you expected, you can be sure that it will be an amazing four years that will give you more than a few stories of your own!


I am a double major in Anthropology and International/Global Studies with a minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation at Brandeis University. As a native Southern Californian, I have a born passion for avocados and an innate dread of cold weather. In my free time I love cooking (with avocados of course), drawing and writing. 
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