College Life: Expectations vs. Reality

So you are a fresh faced college freshman and you are in the middle of your first semester of classes: you may have noticed that college life isn’t exactly what you thought it would be. What exactly is the reality of college then?

1. Free Time

Expectation: So you have fewer class hours a week, and that must mean you are going to spend your nights watching “Pretty Little Liars” with your roommate or hitting the frat parties with your new besties.


Reality: Free time? I don’t know where I could have misplaced it. Perhaps it is under the three research papers and the hours of homework loitering on your desk.

2. Sleeping in

Expectation: After a hard night of partying you will pass out on your bed and wake up refreshed around noon – just in time for your first class.

Reality: You will slither out of bed so you can make it to your 9:00 am class on time (give or take a few minutes), looking somewhat akin to Frankenstein as you fight to stay alert.

3. Dating

Expectation: You will go on actual dates with grown college men and have interesting conversations and a deep connection

Reality: The boy you met in the club asked if you want to “hang-out” sometime

4. Eating

Expectation: You have heard the rumors about the dreaded “freshman fifteen” but you decide that is not going to be you. You will eat three balanced meals a day and go to the gym at least three times a week.

Reality: You are sitting in the laundry room, cramming for your midterm and realize you forgot to grab dinner, and notice those Oreo’s in the vending machine look pretty tasty. Wait, weren’t you supposed to go to the gym last night?

5. Grades

Expectation: Maybe you were one of those kids in high school who never really studied for tests and still managed good grades. And those were hard classes, so how different can college really be?

Reality: You are on the verge of tears as you cram for your first exam for days. How could this happen? The first week was so easy then it just went faster and faster. Let’s just pray for a “C”

While the realities may be different for every student, there is no denying that college is stressful, difficult, and even a little lonely for everyone. But even if college is not what you thought it was going to be; that doesn’t mean these still won’t be the best years of your life, so enjoy every minute of it. 

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