College Surprises

Before one gets to college, there usually are too many unsubstantiated rumors flying around. I for one was surprised at the very many things we get wrong about campus life, or perhaps things changed, and what our parents used to do no longer applies. Firstly, people in college in this day and age are proactive. They take charge of things and don’t just wait to respond to events after they take place. Individuals come from all walks of life, and I would imagine that this would make people reserved. However, it was utter amazement to me that this made students more adventurous and they were so glad to be in the midst of such diversity. It was impossible to feel like an insignificant freshman when everyone appreciated meeting people from different places to learn a few things about their cultures.

Unfortunately, our elder brothers and sisters lied about the free time available on the campus. College life can be extremely stressful, with regards to time management. Almost every instructor, tutor or professor acts like their class is the only class, with assignments, readings, and classwork that all require a lot of patience and understanding. From an angle, it all feels so hard and depressing, but at the end of the tunnel, life seems full of light, and I am getting reminded it is all for my benefit (Flannigan, 2017).

It also dawned on me that the image of parties sprouting on every field around campus was a big fabrication and most schools are very watchful of the issue of underage drinking and drug abuse. Many films portray life in university as one long party with alcohol and loud music. However, that is not the case as individuals here are all struggling to make a future for themselves by working extra hard in their academics.

It was surprising to find out the differences between this environment and high school, and it is laughable how most people would claim how difficult it would be to locate a clean bathroom in university. The truth is that the level of cleanliness in college is quite unexpectedly high and everyone expects nothing less. The administration also encourages the use of technology to better student productivity.

Another astonishing thing I encountered is the message of self-advocacy. In high school, it was almost a taboo to speak to teachers outside of class. In this higher institution of learning, you get better in school by advocating for your needs and asking for help from instructors. People pursue their passions and get involved in activities based on their choices. The school motivates the development of self-advocacy skills that will go beyond the tertiary institution level and be useful throughout my career outside the schooling environment (Porter, 2019). There is no time to waste in the institution, and suddenly, I feel the urge to work hard both in and outside of class. Not just for money, but to better my chances of achieving my dreams. College is a pleasant surprise.



Flannigan, C. (2017). How To: Manage Your Workload at College – College Raptor Blog. Retrieved from

Porter, E. (2019). Talking to Teachers: Building Self-Advocacy in College Students. Retrieved from


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