College Expectations vs. Reality

The extremely true misconceptions everyone has about college...

Hoosier Hub | Kaitlyn Beck | November 2, 2015

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College is embedded and burned into every pre-teen and teenagers mind. Students go through high school planning, working and dreaming of their college experience. Daydreams of college boys, freedom, and parties dance in their heads. However, no matter the preparation and planning, things will be much different than initially expected–at least in my case. I’ve provided some of the most common misconceptions every undergrad can relate to.

For starters, incoming freshmen: It is not cool to wear your lanyard with your room key around your neck. We know you go here; hence we believe you also live here. Put the lanyard in a normal place like a pocket or purse. Nothing shouts “first year student” like the IU multicolored lanyard dangling from your neck.

  • Involvement fair. Movies and TV shows depict college involvement fairs and highlight one of the most common parts of welcome week. The involvement fair is a lot different than Hollywood portrays. Pitch Perfect gave me expectations of a neatly organized, informative formation of club tables and members. However, the involvement fair in Dunn Meadow is a lot more like burning alive in hell, making awkward small talk, and being trampled over for popular organizations information.
  • Dorm room. I remember gathering décor and crafting canvases for months in advance of move-in. I compressed my clothes into bins, hung up posters and hooks, and put down my beautiful white shag rug. No matter how cute Pinterest dorm rooms look, your room will not maintain that image for more than 2 weeks. Is it rainy outside? Your boots will track in a pound of mud on that old tile floor. Are you hosting a pre-game? Approximately 18 people will spill alcohol on your shaggy rug. Are you eating take-out in the room? Soy sauce will spread around the room like a disease. Your dorm room will not be a magazine cover; it’ll probably be more comparable to a vast wasteland.
  • Food. Yes, its true college dining halls do have good food. Yes, it’s also true that you’ll most likely run out of meal points and or miss dining hall hours at least a few times. Keeping groceries in your room is crucial for busy nights or negative meal points plans. Ramon noodles truly do change your life, cereal tastes better eaten out of a red solo cup, and month old leftovers won’t kill you (as far as I’m aware).
  • Money. Ballin’ on a budget. As a college student, you are about to become a more socially accepted solicitor. No matter how much money you save up over summer, it won’t get you through the year. Everything costs something. Even if you’re avoiding online shopping and eating out, you’ll still have to pay for textbooks, groceries, club fees and other you didn’t take into consideration before. Therefore, we rely heavily on family members sending care packages, and parents sneaking a 20-dollar bill upon visit. (Thanks mom!)
  • Sickness. College is probably one of the toughest times on your immune system. Lack of sleep, poor dieting and the constant sharing of space are bound to cause you hell. If one roommates down, they’re all down. If there’s a final, there’s a lingering flu. There has never been a midterm or finals week that I haven’t been sick for.

Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Everyone thought it was cool to show of room keys, most people blew their money on all-white floor rugs, and everyone is in a constant state of exhaustion and bad health. But in the end, it’s all #socollege