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

Something tells us you didn't ask how safe the campus was on your college tour. Maybe you should.

The world around us is changing and even walking down the street is not as safe as it once was--or we would like it to be.

And while we may feel like college is an isolated little bubble, college campuses are not always immune to crime. Nowadays most colleges have specified police departments to help protect students and faculty. Many also even offer an escort program to walk you from building to building.

Want to go muddin' between classes?

For a lot of students, moving to the big city is part of their college dream.

But not everyone shares that same aspiration.

What if you’re from an urban area and looking for a change of scenery? Or what if you’ve always lived in a rural area and want to stay out in the sticks? Many colleges are located in highly populated areas, but not all of them.

It’s Football Tailgating Season.

Game day can be a huge part of the college experience.

Many university parking lots will be filled with thousands of fans every Saturday for the next few months. And while every school takes pride in its quirky approach to the game-day experience, nothing encompasses the uniqueness of a college-town atmosphere better than its tailgating scene.  It’s something that can’t exactly be described, but only felt first hand.

Check out these tips for commuters, but not while driving!

While you may be envious of your friends that are living on campus, making the decision to commute to school can save you a ton of money on room and board. And while you might not be at school 24/7, you can still make efficient use of your time commuting to and from classes.

Typical broke college kid? You don’t have to be.

College can be expensive. Very expensive. But for many students, the cost is somewhat justifiable as a college education provides maximized earning potential in the future. So since your spending all that money, to make money, why not kick those old, silly habits that are killing your bank account, now?

Your network of professionals can never be too big.

No matter what type of person you are, networking is an important skill to possess and develop.

Every connection you make can potentially be the key to your next job. Learning to present yourself well and being a genuine individual will take you far in your post-collegiate life.

The relationship between student and smartphone continues to be a huge part of the college experience.

Smartphones are the real deal these days. Gone are the "bricks" and "flip phones" that were only able to make calls and play "Snake." Cellphones are no longer just used for exclusively verbal communication--they are our connection to the real world around us, right now. Integrated into our everyday routines, they are task managers of our actual and virtual lives.

College life is no exception.

Looking to get active in college? Hustle to one of these schools.

Competitive college sports aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that students should miss out on the fun of social team sports. Most teams don’t typically require tryouts and in some cases, if the program is large enough, players will be assigned a team based on their skill level. Even better, with your busy academic schedule, teams don’t require practices and games are played just for fun. 

You were definitely doing cool, before it was cool. Find a university that reflects what you're all about.

Defined by mason jars, skinny jeans, flat brims, and organic fair trade espresso--the Hipster has taken center stage. Thick-rimmed glasses with deep cultural insights are finding a revival community that becomes a lifestyle.

Get out your walking shoes, because we have some serious ground to cover. 

Not many colleges can boast owning land as far as the eye can see. 

But with more acres comes more space in the great outdoors. 

If an expansive campus is your thing, Collegexpress.com has compiled a list of the top 100 colleges with the most acres for your exploration.

Here are the Top Five:

Be the best frosh you can be.

Freshman year can be one of the most exciting years of your life.

You might be moving to a new city, state or country all together. Either way you will be making new friends and learning a lot about yourself. Here are some tips on how to handle some of the biggest question marks you might run into during your freshman year:

If you're not sure there's a Greek community out there for you, think again.

There is certainly a stigma associated with sororities and fraternities, which are often thought of as the stomping grounds for mean girls and fratastic bros. But in most cases, that perception is far from the truth, especially with these groups.

The LGBT sororities, fraternities--and even frarorities--listed below are all about support and acceptance and can make a huge impact on making your college experience something special.

You'll never want to leave your room if you're heading to one of these schools.

When you're first heading to college, you're probably somewhere between the excitement of moving away from home and the realization of that you’re most likely going to be residing in a cold, boring cinder-block dorm room—with a twin-sized cot. Perfect. 

Sure your dream school has a website, but does it have an app?

If you're freshman, the last thing you want to do is skulk around campus with a printed-out map. Yes, you can probably find it on the website, but if your school's site is not mobile friendly, you could feel like you're trying to navigate through a school for ants.

Professors can make or break your courses - save yourself some stress and tears by selecting professors that fit your learning style best.

They can inspire you to love a subject. They can be cruelly monotone. They can empower you to reflect their passions. They can be so off-topic that you aren't unsure what the title of the course is anymore. They can be the reason you decide to change your major.

Professors are a defining part of a course experience that can not be overlooked.

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