Attending university isn’t quite the same as entering your first year of high school. Suddenly, everyone expects you to be independent even while everything costs a limb. Or two.
Since almost nothing we anticipate ever happens, some common first year experiences can throw you for a loop, especially if you’re expectations are heavily influenced by movies or TV shows. But real life is never that glamorous. Then again, you might just get lucky.
Expect to wait in line regardless of which educational institution you have the pleasure of attending. By the way, wearing heels and standing for hours will never go together.
Expectation: It’s the best week of your life because you have a selection of pubs and parties to choose from.
Reality: A stressful five days of coerced cheering, running, and engaging with others.
If You’re Lucky: A combination of advice, entertainment, as well as familiarity with faces and places.
Smaller class sizes made friendship building less intimidating in high school. So your first thought upon seeing five hundred heads in a lecture hall might be to turn invisible. Maybe you already feel that way. When you’re ready to shake off the invisibility cloak, join a cool club, attend a free event, or speak to a stranger. They may very well become your best friend.
Expectation: People will flock to you.
Reality: You’ll probably see someone you know from class or camp or church.
If You’re Lucky: You make one good friend. That’s all you really need.
Going to Class
An hour long period in high school is nothing like three hour lectures packed with a truck ton of information. It’s worse if you have back to back classes. Come prepared, get comfortable, and start learning.
Expectation: You’ll walk in looking like a model on the runway.
Reality: Half the battle is realizing you’re throwing away two hundred dollars every time you miss a class. The other more difficult half is trudging yourself from bed to lecture hall. No one will pay you any heed if you wear the clothes you slept in.
If You’re Lucky: Your classes won’t be too early, too late, or too inconvenient (i.e. on the other side of campus).
Falling in Love
Being passionate about what you’re studying does wonders for your grades. This goes for high school and university.
Expectation: You’ll find your soulmate—the one person who truly gets you—and your happy ever after is fairy-tale worthy.
Reality: You’re just one tiny fish in a huge pond. And so is every potential suitor.
If You’re Lucky: You like someone who likes you back.
Attending post-secondary doesn’t ease the pain of getting out of bed every morning.
Expectation: You smile so wide your cheeks hurt.
Reality: Sitting up has never been so difficult.
If You’re Lucky: You can afford to wake up at a reasonable time and not at an ungodly hour like most people.
Every second you’re not having fun is a moment you will never get back. And yes, it’s still possible to enjoy yourself even though you feel like you’re drowning in readings.
Expectation: No teachers. No parents. No cops.
Reality: Something or someone will damper your mood.
If You’re Lucky: You won’t have a scowl on your face every second of the day.
Remember your time at university is short and expensive, so make the most out of it.