Tossing your graduation cap into the air, feeling freedom flowing through your veins, happiness resides throughout the air around you; you realize that the time has finally come: college. But let’s be honest. College is never what you expect it to be; or is it?
5 Things You Were Expecting:
College would be “like the movies”: It is what you expected.
Westfield State University senior Tom Ludemann had a faint smile as he apologized for the clichÃ© term: “like the movies.” “I was expecting it to be that very stereotypical, very rowdy atmosphere,” he said. “And, depending on the campus and crowd, it can be.”
You would be surrounded by mature people: It is what you expected.
In reality, every student entering college is expecting to meet new people, have new experiences, and learn new things. And while every person is different, there is a major jump that separates high school students from that of college students. With more responsibilities, more multi-tasking and more communicating overall, for the most part, college students are more on the mature side of the scale.
You would have a heavy work load/schedule: It is not what you expected.
“I definitely thought that the classes would be harder and that I would never have any free time to socialize,” said Westfield State sophomore Victoria Hedge. “I always thought I’d be doing something.”
Most students find that they take a step backwards upon entering college, because it starts all first-years on the same level of basic general education courses. Of course, the workload progressively becomes harder throughout the years, but it always comes as quite the shock for first-years.
You thought you’d have more freedom: It is what you expected.
“You’re more of your own person in college,” said Tom Ludemann. “In high school, you were very constrained, and it’s a very different atmosphere in college. You don’t feel obligated to go to your courses, you actually want to, for the most part.”
Lindsay Holmes, however, who attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was unsatisfied with her sense of “freedom”.
“Freshman year in college is a huge transition,” Holmes said, “and it can be more difficult for some people. Not everybody has a good experience.”
When asked what kind of experience she would consider it to be, she replied, “a life experience.”
You thought you would become more mature: This one is up to you.
This is something most people aspire to be by the time they reach or graduate college. One of the more interesting and mostly wonderful things about the college atmosphere is all of the individual people that interact with and reflect on one another every day, so this expectation will vary with every unique individual. Professors in any college will tell you that “life is what you make of it.”
Personally, I’ve learned to make this out of college: the clichÃ©s are clichÃ©s for a reason, and college is what you make of it.