Leaving your parents’ home and going off to college is a very exciting event in the lives of most teenagers, but the college experience itself is often much different than people imagine it to be. Popular movies, older friends and siblings, and even trusted teachers can paint a picture of college that is unrealistic and warped compared to actual, everyday campus life.
Everyone’s college experience will be a little bit different, but here are eight generally unrealistic expectations to keep in mind when you’re waving goodbye to mom and dad.
College Coursework Is Impossible
Your high school teachers have probably spent a lot of time talking up the difficulty of college assignments and classes: essays are all 20 pages long, tests can take up to three hours, and last-minute studying will doom you to a failing grade.
In reality, though many classes are quite difficult, others can be a walk in the park. In college, you often have more freedom when selecting your courses which means you can choose ones that align with your personal interests. Being interested in the subject matter of a course is a great motivator to pay attention in class and study hard, which makes doing well in the course a breeze.
And even though college will introduce concepts that are a step up from what you learned in high school, the school’s job is to introduce you to these concepts slowly. First-year courses are notoriously broad in their scope to help students gain a solid foundation in the subject before delving deeper into it in later years of study.
Just like how in high school what you learned in twelfth grade was more challenge than in the ninth, your college professors are aware that their incoming first-year students are going to need help transitioning into the more difficult coursework and will need time to figure out the expectations set out in college classes.
Don’t be discouraged by the first bad mark you get. It’s not that the coursework is impossible, it’s that learning how to do well in college takes some time.