Life in Neverland: Fact from Fairytale in the 'Castle

As a hopeless romantic, I was surprised to hear the truth of some of our favorite fairytales. Did you know in the original story of “The Little Mermaid,” Ariel doesn’t marry Prince Eric and becomes so depressed she disappears into foam?

And “Sleeping Beauty” is not awoken by a kiss in the real story…but we’ll leave it at that

(see this Buzzfeed article for some other surprises).

We come to DePauw as prospective students on a sunny day and hear all the wonderful things about this school. And it’s true that DePauw provides very important lessons and experiences. But there are some DePauw fairytales that we tell one another (I blame the freshman dorm gossip mill) that I want to clear up. In fact, sometimes the reality is greater than the myth.

One wrong move and you’ll be “blacklisted” from a sorority

Recruitment season is upon us. But when is it not at DePauw? I remember as a freshman being terrified that if I talked to the wrong guy, posted the wrong picture on Facebook or even so much as gossiped about the chapters in our dorm rooms, some ominous figure would put me on the “blacklist.” But as a senior, I can tell you no such list exists. Sorority girls are not looking for reasons to dislike you. Recruitment is scary and stressful on both sides, believe it or not. However, it never hurts as college students to mind what we do on the weekends for fear of who will find out (read: future employers). 

You’ll graduate DePauw with your college sweetheart and live happily ever after

When I stumbled upon this YouTube video titled “Met and Married at DePauw,” I could not stop swooning and believed that, while I was not looking for an MRS degree, a college sweetheart would be so romantic. I have heard lots of stories from alumni about their time together at DePauw.  But given the hookup culture on this campus, relationships seem rare. And while they absolutely can thrive here, not everyone wants to commit. Don’t be on a hunt for a husband for the sake of a relationship. As much as you think it’s ideal, college is a time to do your own thing, not search for Prince Charming. 

Homesickness is only for freshmen

This is one of the tougher fairytale truths to accept. Homesickness happens a little bit every year. That’s normal! It becomes routine to become used to being away from home and high school friends, but allow yourself to miss your big bed and dog. Call your mom, Skype with your dog (no shame…) and surround yourself with your friends here. It gets easier, but homesickness doesn’t end. It just means you have the best of both worlds with two homes!

Everyone goes abroad junior year

The off-campus opportunities at DePauw are amazing, and I admit I get jealous of all the touristy pics my friends have taken overseas. But, I never spent a semester off-campus. If you have a desire to get away from DePauw to experience something different, or your Fellows program requires that of you, go for it! But if it doesn’t suit you, don’t feel obligated to leave a place you love. There are other options for off-campus study such as Winter Term trips and summer internships. I have had amazing experiences on trips to Europe over the month of January, spent a summer interning in Chicago and I still never experienced FOMO at DePauw.

You have to pull all-nighters

As finals week approaches, the complaints of work get louder. No matter what’s on your plate, you’ll get stressed, procrastinate and complain just like everyone else. It’s a ritual of DePauw students. But don’t let the circling chaos of campus bring you to believe you have to overcompensate and pull all-nighters. It’s all about time management: find a quiet study spot that works for you, give yourself short breaks, and sleep!! Don’t let Roy O. convince you that you need to stay the night to study. It’s funny to see people bring blankets and pillows to the library, but don’t be one of them. The post-study hangover is killer. If I’ve made it this far into my DePauw career without watching the sunrise, so can you.