Four Things That Surprised Me About College

College is Full of Surprises

There are a lot of cliches about college. Even friends, family, and former students can give you false information.

Every school (and people's perceptions of them) are different. And sometimes people just flat out embellish (you know those people). 

Looking back on my time, from freshman to senior year (and that one extra semester), I can definitely say that I was surprised by a few things, and from the conversation I’ve had with other Academbot writers, they were surprised by these things too. So for everybodies sake, let’s put some of those platitudes to bed.

Four Things That Surprised Me About College

  1. It’s not like what parents said: We’ve already written a whole blog on this, but it’s worth writing about again. The “college” your parents experienced isn’t the same one you’ll experience. Teachers don’t really let you skip, parties don’t really pop up in random fields, and it’s not really easy to pick a major. Don’t let parents get your expectations up or stress you out.

  2. You can’t really “skip” class: This isn’t the 1970’s anymore--almost every class you take will have an attendance sheet. It’s lazy grade giving on their part (haha, yeah they’re the lazy ones!) but professors are now obsessed with making you come to every class. Personally I think it’s a little vain (like no one could possibly get a good grade if they miss a precious lecture).  

  3. Every school is not a “party” school: When you hear a school being called a “bar school” that means that you’ll get caught and punished for drinking under age on campus. As a result students will go to the bars instead. These schools aren’t the party schools you’ve heard of, and school security doesn't just “look the other way” at drinking. Be careful and make sure what kind of school you're going to. 

  4. People are super nice: As soon as you get to campus (after loading everything into your room) you'll realize that everyone is there to have a good time. People want to make friends, find something to do, and explore the world they’re going to be living in for the next four years. This adventurous feeling makes everyone happy and friendly, and they're also happy and friendly in order to find friends. Make sure you’re nice back.

Academic Matters College Advice College Life

You don't want to take the wrong classes. You don't want to pick the wrong major. You want to graduate. You want to get a good job. You want peace.

It’s OK. Breathe.

Don't try to be someone you’re not—college interviewers are turned off by insincerity.

The college admissions process can look pretty daunting. The thought of having some stranger in a university office poring over your academic past, then making a decision that could impact the next two to four (or more) years of your life is enough to make anyone nervous.

8 Surprising Things You Can Do While Attending College That’ll Help You Get a Job When You Get Out (but have nothing to do with academics).

Here are 17 Sites to help you get the inside scoop on colleges and the towns those colleges are in.

Freshmen make mistakes. Lots of them. But other people's experiences can help you avoid a few. 

Ask an upperclassman or college graduate what words they associate with “freshman” and we guarantee you that “clueless” shows up near the top of the list. It’s not the freshman’s fault. For the most part, going to college is a totally new experience. And having new experiences means making a whole bunch of new mistakes.

You're set to go on your college visit... here are 10 tips to help you get the most out of it.

Getting your college degree online sounds like every student’s dream. You can go to class whenever you want, wherever you want. No worries about parking, dorms, or schlepping a backpack full of books around campus. Instead of adapting to college, college adapts to you…on your own terms.

But we have to warn you: online learning isn’t for everyone.

Maybe you’ve heard about this whole “online college” thing. Maybe you’re thinking it might be a good option for you. It could be. Research has shown that you’ll learn just as well (and as much) taking classes online versus taking them in-person on campus. But there’s a big “if.” The same research shows that online learning might not be the right way to go for everyone. Is an online education right for you? Ask yourself a few questions...