College: Expectations Vs. Realities

By Molly Cline


Going off to college is a journey unlike any other, and it can come with many surprises. Coming out of high school, I had many expectations about what college would be like; however, I found myself to be so wrong about so many things. I am in my junior year of college now, and so many things still amaze me. Here are the top five expectations about college among incoming freshmen.


1.) Expectation: It will be easy to take an 8 a.m. class. You woke up way earlier in high school anyways.

Reality: Taking an 8 a.m. class is the worst decision ever.

A lot of freshmen tell themselves that they woke up early in high school, so they can do it for class in college. This is simply not true. Even if you don’t go out the night before, it is very hard to wake up and be motivated to go to class. Never underestimate the awesomeness of sleep.




2.) Expectation: You will stay best friends with everyone from high school.

Reality: You make so many great new friends.

Going off to a new school is hard. Sometimes the hardest part is leaving your friends behind. Going to college is an opportunity to explore new things, make new friends and have new experiences. It is okay if you don’t text your friends from high school every single day. Meeting tons of new people is part of what college is about.


3.) Expectation: You barely spend any time in class.

Reality: Even when you aren’t in class, you are in class.

Classes are only 50 minutes long and you might be taking 4 or 5. That’s only like 4 hours a week, right? Wrong. Professors recommend studying for double the amount of time you are in class each week. You also have to account for homework, projects, and exam studying.


4.) Expectation: I will have so much free time.

Reality: It’s 2 am. Can I go to sleep yet?

With schoolwork, being involved on campus, and trying to have a social life it is very hard to have free time to do what you want to do. Oftentimes the only free time I have is when I am sleeping at night.


5.) Expectation: Grades don’t matter.

Reality: You need to keep your GPA up to get a job.

No matter what anyone tells you, grades matter when you are in college. When applying for jobs and internships, your GPA matters. Companies will look at it to see if they want you or not.


Whenever people try new things, there are always going to be different sets of expectations lined up in their heads. College is supposed to be the best 4 years of your life,  so keep an open mind and live it up.


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