Everyone knows about dorms, living with other people, taking classes and dining halls. What about the things people don't tell you in the brochures? Want the real deal, what you're really going to encounter at school? Look no further than this card.
Here's what the advertisements and literature don't tell you about your college experience.
1. You're going to become a different person.
Freshman Tess who came to Ohio University in 2011 is dead. You will become a different person when you go to college. No amount of literature or preparedness will get you ready for this transformation, and it's not even a conscious one. You'll gain new friends, new interests and you'll grow into someone who you never thought you'd be. Whether that's good or bad is up to you, but be ready for it.
Because you will not walk out as a senior with the same set of ideals. You'll have four more years of life experience to draw on. Think about yourself as a freshman in high school....that person is long gone too.
Things are going to happen to you, good or bad. All you can do is take in the experience and make sure that you're living the way you want to.
2. You're going to see addiction in action.
People around you are in a free-fall. College provides a built in safety net, but doesn't always catch everyone. It doesn't matter if it's you, your friends or just an acquaintance at a party. You're going to see people with some deep seeded issues that can only be solved by drugs or alcohol. It's not good or bad, it just is. And you'll have to deal with some not-so-pretty moments.
You must be prepared to help yourself and your friends out of the pits if need be. College is fun, don't get me wrong, but sometimes the fun can take over everything and turn into chaos. When these things happen, you mustn't give up. You have to get help and you have to put your own health first. The main mistake that happens is, people put their academics and the pressure from outside sources before their own sanity. If you see someone in need of a friend, or help, help them.
3. Money will go fast, and it won't always be available.
I guess this one depends on your specific situation, but everyone sees money in a different way after college. Just based on the sheer magnitude of the debt you incur, and the starting of serious jobs...things get dicey and you'll have to scrape by with nothing, and in those moments you'll wish you had saved more. But it's a part of growing up really. The absolute helplessness of not having everything you want becomes more apparent in college. And there's no shame in that.
4. College isn't just booze and partying. It's hard.
As with every experience, people are going to have different interpretations of it. A lot of people will tell you that college is the best part of your life, and it seems kind of sad to say. Because there is so much living left to do after that. You will defintiely have an experience, but what people leave out are the dark parts, and the parts where you struggle. College isn't all parties, booze and freedom. It's hard work, and if you don't apply yourself and really put in a strong effort, then you will not have an easy time.
5. Living on your own will be extremely rewarding, but scary as hell.
People assume that you're just going to be living it up when you're at college on your own, but that's just not the case. You're going to have to budget for the first time, pay rent and utilities. You have to deal with roommates and landlords.You're going to have to get it together. Everything will be harder than you anticipated, and in order to reap the benefits of your new-found freedom you're going to have to work hard and keep it together as much as possible. It will be hard to do that, but once you get the hang of it...things can only go up from there.
College will provide you with a lot of ups and downs, and not everything can be forecasted, but if you prepare for the challenges as well as the rewards, you'll be in a lot better shape when the hard stuff comes.