5 Things That Surprised Me About Starting College

I started my first semester at Marymount Manhattan College last month, and so far, it’s pretty amazing. I love so many aspects of college life, but there are a few things that will take some getting used to. I’ve learned that media portrayals of college aren’t always so accurate, especially when it comes to a small liberal arts school, and a lot of my assumptions were way off. Here are 5 things that have surprised me so far.

  1. 1. You actually have to go to class

    College students in movies and TV shows seem to always sleep in and miss class without consequence. This may be something you can get away with at some giant universities, but at a small college like Marymount, your absence will be noticed. It was in my first ever class that I learned I will be penalized for every absence. I’ve found it to be helpful motivation to get out of bed! 

  2. 2. Making friends isn’t so hard.

    This summer I was nervous  about how I would find friends in college. It turns out it can be as easy as sitting next to someone in class, as you already have one thing in common! In the beginning of freshman year, everyone is looking for people to talk to, and just doing things like sitting with a familiar face at lunch can potentially be the start of a long friendship.

  3. 3. There is a lot of free time...

    I’ve always been excited about having a college schedule and not being in class 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. I just never realized how much free time there actually is. It definitely feels strange to be done with my school day at noon, or have Fridays completely off, but I enjoy having some time to relax and recharge.

  4. 4. ...But it gets filled up quickly.

    After a couple weeks of settling in, I finally started to understand how college students are busy all the time. Study sessions, clubs, hanging out with friends, and taking advantage of all the activities the college and city have to offer take up a huge portion of my time that isn’t actually spent in class. College is really testing my time management skills!

  5. 5. Everyone is willing to help you.

    I was under the impression that college is all about figuring things out for yourself. While there is an incredible new level of independence, there are still people there to support and guide you as needed. The staff, faculty, and students at Marymount have all made it clear that I am always free to ask questions and seek help. It’s great to know that resources exist for any need I may have.

College life is new, exciting, and sometimes surprising for new students. It helps to have an open mind to all experiences and to have fun trying new things. I’m ready to see what else college has in store for me!