I encourage you to think back to your first tour on the campus you now call home. What do you remember (other than being wildly impressed at your tour guide’s ability to walk backwards without tripping)? One thing is for sure – the school sold itself extremely well. The wonders that the campus had to offer had you ready to start tomorrow, if you could.
Fast forward to the present. You, to borrow from Mean Girls, go here now. You’re finally a freshman and you wouldn’t give it up for anything, but there are a few things that your enthusiastic tour guide “forgot” to warn you about.
- The default coffee shops around campus do not the Starbucks espresso (or latte) you are looking for.
And at 7 in the morning, coffee snob or not, you simply won’t care about that…especially when your Keurig is broken. As long as there’s an extra shot in there, it’s all good.
2. You won’t be hitting the dining hall every night.
It might seem hard to imagine when you’re still getting used to just how much the dining hall has to offer, but in moments of low motivation or low outside temperatures, delivery pizza (or even, sometimes, a pop-tart) becomes the easier choice. Even if they come with a side of regret.
3. There’s that one building that everyone collectively dislikes because of how hard it is to navigate.
How were we smart enough to be admitted if we can’t even find our way around this maze of a building? Where’s that tour guide when you need her?
4. You can’t escape 8 am classes.
Remember how before choosing your classes, you swore you’d avoid getting up before 10 no matter what? Remember how you thought it was that easy? Cue the laughing track. Don’t worry, they sneak into all of our schedules eventually. Just smile through the pain.
5. The dorm laundry room is a game of Russian roulette.
There’s nothing more infuriating than finding out the washing machine you just paid for is broken. No, there was not a sign saying so. No, you can’t have your money back. Deep breaths.
6. You will never have been more excited in your life to see dogs.
No one has more enthusiasm for dogs than students who temporarily can’t have their own. Suddenly, every dog you see on the street is your dog, if only for a minute or two.
7. “We’re closing, please leave” is a rare phrase to hear.
You never knew you needed a 24 hour coffee shop to exist until one did, just down the street. Libraries are open later than you imagined people would be willing to work. Thank goodness for night owls.
8. Finding a table anywhere during the Lunch Hour is laughable.
Ever heard of casino lurkers? Similar behavior occurs when hungry college students all buy lunch at the same time on weekdays. If it’s 12:30 pm and you’re trying to find somewhere to sit in any area where food is sold, may the odds be ever in your favor.
9. College is, most of all, an adjustment.
On a more serious note, adapting to the brand new environment of college is not an easy task. Everything, from how much time there is between classes to how you should budget your money, takes time to get used to. Believe it or not, even your parents- or for that matter, the seniors at your university- once felt clueless.
10. College isn’t fun, for most people, the way that high school was.
It’s fun in a different way. In a way that you won’t be exposed to immediately, but that you will enjoy more and more over time. Keep an open mind, and before you know it, it will feel sad to leave your new life behind during school breaks. It’s not high school- it’s better.