The College Life

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The College Life




The College Life



I thought this might be an interesting thing to do since it might help other people. As you all may or may not know, College and the entire process of applying to a higher educational institution is quite an exciting and stressful time in your life. I have been at my own University for a little over a month, and truly, it only took that long to really experience college and dorm life. I think it would be beneficial to everyone unsure of how college life is, if they would like it, or if they are just purely curious to read this memoir of mine. Also, I am doing this as a little thing for myself too. Maybe, after the semester and year is over, I can reflect on the past a bit with this.

Also, as this is a blog purely about college life, other university and college students may of course comment on their own experiences. It is open to everyone.

________________


I think to start, I will go back some months, reflecting on my last bit of time as a Senior in High School. Obviously a stressful time in getting all the preparatory work completed and the arduous task of actually choosing a college to apply for. Before my Senior year, I of course did indeed research and even visit other schools. I find it amazing that first impressions are absolutely nothing when it comes down to it.

I probably visited around seven different schools, all within New England (since I wanted to stay a bit closer to home). I liked the looks of some of them, and others not so much. By early August or June of Senior year (not sure which), I was tasked by my parents to hurry up and pick a school. I managed to narrow down my list from seven to three, and I applied to all of them. When I received the acceptance letters from them, I then found out that all the work thus far was nowhere near as difficult as coming to the final decision.

The first school was admittedly a safety school that I applied to "just in case". I immediately scrapped the idea of going there, having my decision narrowed down to two fantastic schools. For the longest time, maybe a month or two, I had my heart set on one particular school, yet I held myself back from choosing to go because of one factor: The people. The students who attended there (aside from my own sister and some of her friends) were rich, snobby, aristocratic asshats whom I truly did not wish to associate with. The school however, had a great curriculum, fantastic teachers, an their Graphic Design program, which is my selected major, was phenomenal. And yet, I knew I would inevitably be quite unhappy.

The second of the two schools was a cheaper university, yet by all regards held the same prestige and success of the first. Sure, it wasn't private. It didn't have beach-front property or mansions for academic buildings. It did have one thing that appealed to me: a sense of normality. All the kids there were around the middle of the social class. Even better, everyone I met was friendly, happy with the school, and really bore no real complaints about the college. Can you tell which college I picked in the end?

I decided with the second school. I am only about half an hour from home. The food is great there. The teachers are great, alongside the curriculum. The Graphic Design program, though rigorous and difficult to get into, is completely worth my effort. Mostly everyone is nice and not uppity rich pricks. To be honest, I am happy with everything about my University, and I originally thought there would be something to complain about.

Of course, the college life will be different for everyone, but many will have some of the same experiences that I have had. And now, to start on the College Life (in progress of course).

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As soon as I pulled into the dorm parking lot on that bright, sunny, blue-sky'd day, I was immediately immersed into the college environment. The campus, the academic buildings, the vastness and foreignness of it all. All the Freshmen were moving in that day, so it was easy to say the entire campus was bustling.

Moving in was easy for me, as I live on the first floor of my dorm, it was only a matter of bringing in baggage and items. Once everything was set up, I received that bright bronze key to what would become my second home, and my Student ID was hooked onto my laniard, I truly felt like a real college student.

Suddenly, a shocking realization struck me: I would not be going home to that place I had lived happily in for 18 years of my life...

That feeling is hard to describe. It was like a loneliness and awkwardness I had never felt before. I found out then and there, I was a extremely sheltered boy just let out into the world. It took 18 years to prepare me for college, and only a matter of hours to leave me behind. Before leaving thought, my family and I went out to get an early dinner at Red Robin's... I hardly ate anything, and truthfully felt nauseous and sick to my stomach.

When they left, I sat in my dorm and sorted through my belongings, arranging everything just how it should be. My dorm-mate, whom I really just met, and I had that awkward silence... we were both in the same boat. The first couple of days during Orientation really continued on like that.

In three days, I think I shook every Freshman's hand during Orientation.. as was a activity that the staff thought was good. Seriously... >_> people just go right to their own confort groups anyway. But, I digress.

After Orientation, I was immediately plunged into the real college life. I had to learn where every building was on campus (not a hard task, I have a good sense of direction), and see where my classes were. I hadn't met any of my teachers, thus prompting me to worry if they were good or not. I got lucky.

After a few days of classes, I got into the gist of things. Unsurprisingly, I got work the very first day of classes, and shockingly, an essay due for Freshman Composition (ENG 110). My teachers are luckily all very good and nice to boot.

After a few weeks, I got to be friends with my room-mate, as well as his own friends from his hometown who also attend the same school. It was hard at first, having my roommate familiar was some people, and myself with none, but I suppose you just need to get over that hurdle if you come in contact with it.

The work load is large... very large. It is so far from the sheltered high school life, even I, who thought I was prepared enough, fell short. I need to catch up on some work, and then get more assigned on top of that. It is rough, but then another added benefit of college comes into play: unstructured hours.

High school is structured. You have a set time for lunch, for classes, for breaks, and for leaving. College is the opposite. You can attend classes if you wish, however missing is at your own peril. Homework is not usually necessary for many classes (it is used as preparation for tests), but if you don't do the work, you fall behind and will make your life harder. You eat when you want. You can leave when you want. This of course means a lot of responsibility, something that a lot of students won't truly understand until they go through the start of college themselves.

Depending on your major, doing your work or not could have horrifying consequences. But first, what happens if you don't do work, or fail a test in high school? It means your GPA declines, and that you might be able to make it up, right? Not in college. If you fail a test, it could mean failing the course entirely and having to PAY for another year of college. If you degrade in work for you MAJOR, it could mean you have to switch your major. For example: With my Graphic Design, I have to go through a pre-requisite course in order to be accepted into my major. If I don't have an average of 85% or higher, I am not accepted into my major and must:

A. Switch to another major.

B. Plea to the Department Head to allow me to retake the course (thus adding another year to the tuition)

or

C. Transferring to another school.

Seriously, I had no idea starting out about the gravity of my situation. I have a project due EVERY FRIDAY for my Pre-Graphic / Information Design course. This means a full semester of my stressing over grades.. among my other classes and work. So, whoever talks to me over MSN and either thinks I am down or pissed.... you know why now.

It is not only my major too, the Music department is similar apparently, according to a friend of mine who attends my university. I am not sure about other schools, but those other college students here at LS might be able to contribute to this.

_________________

On a lighter note....

I have never had so much fun. I now spend a lot of time eating my fill with an "unlimited meal plan". I hang out with new-found friends, meeting new people and finding that you have things in common is awesome. Having an awesome roommate also is a huge bonus and makes dorm life enjoyable.

As a small side-comment: Hanging out with a happy-drunk who is AMAZING at Nintendo games is hilarious amongst sober friends. I haven't gone to any parties because of my current stressful schedule, BUT hearing the cheers and shouts from my dorm is evidence enough that people are having a lot of fun.

It is time (for now) to end my rant on college life. I hope it helps with anyone's future concerns. Of course, ask questions and I will try to answer them. Just remember: Responsibility isn't bad once you are in college, the freedom is great, just don't take it too far is all. =)

Lastly, to those in high school now: Enjoy the easiness and simplicity of it all while you can.


~~ Bleach
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The College Life :: Comments

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Post on Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:06 pm by ThElderGod

Ah, I'm pretty nervous myself, though I'm only a junior in highschool right now. I know where Im going simply because I was blessed to get two year scholarship for. But, had I not, I probably would not be going to college simply because of how screwed up the structure of my life is. Im already dependent upon myself, its a fail at times.

My girlfriend is going to college next year and hour away. Kind of worried for her as well. I guess things will fall into place when they come around. Best of luck Bleach.

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Post on Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:44 pm by DJ.

...I thought you were older. Thanks for advice though Bleach.

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Post on Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:04 pm by Kamikaze_X

Thanks TEG!

And DJ, how old did you think I was? >_> Not to mention, my b-day is right next to my name in every post...

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Post on Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:29 pm by DJ.

No, I mean't I thought TEG was older. I know you are older, although I still think you're older than you are....

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Post on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:03 pm by Kamikaze_X

LMFAO. I look older!? AWESOME.. you have me facebook, and if it's any difference, I am one month from being 19. haha

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Post on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:20 pm by DJ.

No offense or anything, but by Facebook. You don't look 18 almost 19. Razz

I can't say I look older either.

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Post on Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:51 pm by Kamikaze_X

Heh, how old did you think I looked like?

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Post on Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:56 pm by DJ.

Not much younger, 15 at the youngest.

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Post on Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:36 pm by Desertback

I started with community so I can get the feel of college with out moving into the dorms.

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Post on Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:20 am by ThElderGod

Thats what Im doing

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Post on Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:47 am by Ducky

I totally understand about the workload hun. I have two English classes on the same day, and unfortunately those papers tend to be due on the same day as well. If your schedule allows in college, I highly recromend doing the activities that you enjoyed before leaving home. The first few weeks when I was still trying to find my niche in school I walked around the campus at night. Then I decided to go bowling with one of the clubs. I met a lot of new people that night who I now spend most of my time with, including my boyfriend Smile

College is definately what you make of it. People won't flock to you, so you will have to stick your neck out a bit. Follow the schedules and pay attention and you should have a good time Wink

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