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What They Don’t Tell You About College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.

As a kid, you watch movies and tv shows based around this super fun college experience. Everyone in college parties, has friends, finds love, and doesn’t have a care in the world. However not only is that unrealistic but it’s damaging as well.

First of all, college isn’t for everyone and that’s just the truth. You don’t have to go to college to be a successful human being. School isn’t meant for everyone and it doesn’t have to be. Learning doesn’t have to happen in school, and you’re not a failure or stupid for not going to college. College is just an option for you when you leave high school, but it’s not the “correct” answer.

You’re taught that college is all about making memories and having the best time of your life. Which obviously can be true. College can be fun, you do make new friends, and you do experience a lot of new things. What they fail to mention is everything else that a young adult in college goes through. They don’t show the struggle for money. They don’t show working all the time while trying to balance your schoolwork. They don’t show mental illness. They don’t show the struggle of your identity as you’re becoming an adult. They don’t show failure or wanting to give up. However, everyone is going through that in college. Yes, you have fun, make friends, and have a college experience, but it’s not easy for students at all. It’s damaging for young adults to compare themselves to older generations and stuff they see in the media about what life is supposed to look like in your 20s.

You’re supposed to know at a young age what you plan on doing for the rest of your life. You’re taught these certain idealized careers that you’re supposed to want to pursue. Some of your options? Doctor, scientist, teacher, police officer, engineer, business. Then you grow up and go to college, and that doesn’t have to be what you want to do. They don’t show the writers, the workers, the other sciences, the artists, and the people who have no clue. Every major and every career that someone pursues is valid and just as important as any other.


I believe that change and not knowing what you want to do should become more normalized. I changed my major two times while being in college alone. I’m graduating in a year and I don’t have any clue what I plan to do after that. I go through the same things that many other people go through while being in school. 

I just want you to know that it’s okay to struggle in college. It’s also normal to change careers or not go to college at all. Don’t let everyone else trick you into thinking you’re not good enough or that you don’t matter. There’s a lot left unsaid and not represented in the media about your young adult years. But this is your life and you’re allowed to do whatever you want with it. And you will all do amazing with whatever that is.

Hi everyone! My name is Alexis McDonald, my pronouns are she/her/hers, and I'm currently double majoring in English and Political Science at USF. I'm also the Social Media Director for our chapter! I love reading, thrifting, and tea drinking! I enjoy writing about mental health, activism, and astrology! I have enjoyed writing since I was young and have grown to have a passion for it ever since.