5 College Realizations

#5. College is not the best four years of your life.

Contrary to popular belief, college is not exempt from the rules of the universe and, therefore, will probably not be deemed the best four years of your life.

While our lives may never be “perfect,” everyone’s life will have “perfect” moments. Moments that we will one day look back on and regard as amazing. To say, however, that college is an endless moment of perfection would be doing a disservice to the concept of college as a whole.

It’s full of happiness, stress, passion and drama, just like everything else. And while some may argue that all of what I just mentioned is what makes college so great, I happen to disagree. When thinking about the best four years of my life, I feel that:

a. They will probably not be in a row.

b. They will most likely be a series of memories that occurred at different stages that amount to four years.

In short, don’t be so quick to believe the hype.

#4. Things aren’t suddenly expensive. You’re just buying it yourself.

For all my self-sufficient people who have been taking care of themselves since day one (although not literally), this doesn’t apply to you.

This goes out to all the gals I see on the internet (and when scrolling through social media) who self-identify with the #BrokeGirlsClub. Times are changing and so should your spending.

Solution? Budget.

This goes without saying but it’s easy to get carried away in college.

Constant parental guidance is no longer there.

Everywhere you turn there’s an opportunity to have fun, to spend, or if you’re lucky, then both.

And if you’re anything like me, who can conquer three venti chai tea lattes in one day from Starbucks, then I have three words for you: don’t do it.

Be smart with your money and find inexpensive alternatives.

a. Make coffee at home and sip on the go.

b. Meal prep during a slow part of your day (for me, this is Sunday afternoon) so you don’t get tempted to buy food from fast food chains or restaurants during the week.

c. Invest in a reusable water bottle. You don’t realize how much you spend buying bottled water until, one day, you don’t anymore.

d. Most of all, don’t feel afraid to treat yourself. Just bear in mind: the beauty of making something a treat is when the act is not part of your daily (or even weekly) routine.

#3: Missing your family is okay. In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s normal.

The high school/secondary school mentality is one everyone dreams of escaping the second it begins. Seeing the same people every day, in all your how-ever-many classes. Being confined to one major lunch setting. Homework always being due the next day or every other day. The classes that, most feel, have nothing to do with what they want to pursue in life.

We all know of, and are therefore well acquainted, with that dread.

What’s shocking, however, is how no one warns you how hard it will be not only leaving high school but mass familiarity behind when you embark on the institutional beast that is university or even community college.

Suddenly, everything you’ve ever known has been snatched from beneath your fingertips and your left with this daunting concept of college in its place. The biggest change, to most, would be the lack of constant exposure to your loved ones.

Coming from a large family that makes Danny Tanner’s look like child’s play, this was the hardest part for me.

Even for those who feel they do not have a good enough home life that makes saying goodbye so hard, homesickness is not exclusive and it is definitely not a one time thing.

When you’re surrounded by the unfamiliar, you long for what you left behind.

Call your family at least once every week. Odds are, they miss you just as much if not more.

#2: “Friends” are overrated. J/K, but they are hard to find and keep in collegiate settings.

The iconic, yet incredibly modern, film Mean Girls hit the nail on the head with its depiction of toxic friendships.giphy

Whether your BFF* is constantly making you go WTF* or you’re both inseparable, friends are often over-hyped and highly overrated when it comes to their role in perpetuating the “college is the best four years of your life” trope.

Quite like realization #5, the friends you make in college aren’t necessarily your lifetime friends. Granted, some may be (which, I’m including primarily because my mother is constantly raving about how some of her current friends are the ones she made and kept from uni). But odds are, the friends you have as you surge forward in your adulting ways may not be the ones that were suffering alongside you in that 8:30 gen-ed* freshman year.

And that’s okay.

It would seem like common sense that people know how to be a decent friend, but surpsingly enough, that is just not the case. In a world full of so many different people embodying different personalities, we should consider ourselves lucky to encounter the ones we mesh with.

And since there’s no guide on how to be a good friend, we can’t expect everyone to know how to.

Toxic friendships inaccuracies:

a. It’s about “she’s the culprit and I’m the victim.”

As a girl I know would say, “Oh no, bb.” Because, that is definitely not the case.

b. It’s about reciprocity.

No. Toxic friendships do not solely manifest in the “I’m the only one putting in effort”
type of light.

c. Communication will solve it. She’ll change.

tenor

All I can say is: everything starts with how you feel about yourself.

Start feeling worthy, valuable and deserving of receiving the best that life has to offer.

Be magnetic.

What you think you attract.

#1: College is not the be-all-end-all.

I guarantee you, there will be life after college. Do not get so consumed by making straight As and condemning yourself if you do not. Your intelligence is quite difficult to measure based on a GPA or transcript.

Other factors do play a role.

Hello, experience! (Hint: get involved!)

People who aren’t the most involved or the brightest in college do go on and live fulfilling lives. So, always bear that in mind.

And never prioritize your academics over your mental health.

As my mom always says, it takes a person who is alive and well to get good grades.

 

*BFF: best friend(s) forever

*WTF: what the f***

*8:30 gen-ed: a general education course (one unrelated to a student’s major, most of the time) that occurs at 8:30 a.m. and is commonly perceived to be unbearable to sit through for most first year students.

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