Reality Check! Common Misconceptions Everyone Has About College Life

Red cups, beautiful people and non-stop partying... maybe on the big screen but unfortunately for those of us who attend your average college it's not all that. Most students come into their first year at college eager to find the "college experience": expecting insane parties, new best friends and overall amazing time. Not to be a downer but unfortunately not all turns out the "college experience" is not all its cracked up to be... Here are the common misconceptions everyone has about college life.

College Costs A Lot Of Money

Although a good handful of first years have been out to clubs and bars before they turned 18, in college, all you do is go out. It seems that all of a sudden 90% of your notifications on Facebook are from promotion companies trying to get your business, everyone in your class is going out together and you don't want to be left behind. Which is completely normal. But on top on that you have books to buy, bus tickers or gas money to pay for, food expenses, rent, photocopying and stationary to get. So unless your fortunate enough to have your expenses paid for you, this makes the college life very stressful. However every college offers financial support, and the grant scheme is a great help towards funding your studies... and nights out.

Not Everyone You Meet Is Going To Be Friendly

I'm not just talking about one person, i'm talking about a lot people, even groups of people. You may be used to it if you went to a big enough secondary school, but in college it's on a different scale. Some people will feel no need to make friends since they already have friends from sixth year in your year and therefore won't show any interest in getting to know you, straight away. The day will come when the year will eventually blur together and everyone will stop caring about cliques, so don't sweat over it in the mean time.


At One Point Or Another You're Going To Have No Idea What You Want To Do With Your Life

And the comforting thing about college is that you're not alone. It's normal enough to question if you're even doing the right course, and it's good to ask that question, because maybe you should be doing something else. Always look at what you've always wanted to do rather than what others think you'll be good at (aka pleasing Mom and Dad). Plenty of people in your year will be asking the same "Wtf am I going to do with my life?" question as you. Don't be afraid to admit it either, people wear masks so don't be afraid to break the ice.

You Have To Put The Work In

Yes we've all seen American college films where the protagonist parties way too much, studies the night before the big exam and then magically passes with an A. I will tell you this honestly, that doesn't always work unless you in an Arts degree and you know what's on the course. But even at that you're chancing it. You have to keep in mind also that yes you are in college to have fun, find who you are and make connections but technically you are here to learn. No one wants to reach graduation having spent the past 4 years barely scrapping by only to achieve the minimum amount of a degree. At the end of the day you are going to be realised into the wild which is the real world and if it's you or the person with a higher grade, it won't be you who will end up with the job.


You Go In A Child And Come Out A Grown Up

It's true that when you're 18 you feel like you're 21, but when you're 21 you realise how much you've grown up in those past three years. College puts you on a path of self-discovery, and I don't mean meditating under a tree while you listen to a lecture on Philosophy, I mean that you learn you prefer clubs to bars, that you love travelling or you're a total homebird. You come out confident in you are as a person.

You Fuck Yourself Over By Skipping Most Of Your Lectures/Classes

Everyone skips lectures/classes and for plenty of reasons; sleeping, hanging out with people instead, they had a two hour gap and ended up in the bar, it happens, it's normal. But the thing is, and you don't really realise this until you exam time when you literally have two weeks to study the class you missed, and have no idea where to start. It's stressful enough for this to happen for just one class, but when it's three or all of them it's a fucking nightmare.


Not Everybody Is Up For The Laugh

Some people really do go to college to learn, and yes technically that's why we go. But we also go to get locked and have a great time. Still, you'll find that some people really do put college work first all the time. Don't let them make you feel bad about going out, if you have the work done then you deserve to celebrate, hell if it's 2pm on a Monday go celebrate, you're in college, it's apart of college life. Although making it your personal mission to get them drunk is a good idea too, some people are just too shy and plus it's nice to be invited.

Working A Part-Time Job While Going To College Is Exhausting

It's also a pain in the hole. You'll soon learn that your life is divided in three; social, working and college. You can only sanely operate two of these sections at a time during term. Getting a part-time job is great on pay day, but is so stressful to manage amongst social desires and class commitments. It's a ritual we all must go through at some stage, and it is a good learning experience. Working in a shitty job will make you motivated to aim much higher in life and give you perspective on the real world.

Being Hungover In Class Is F*cking Awful

Imagine sitting in a roasting hot lecture room, the sweats are in full swing and you have the lecturer giving you the judgemental eyes, not to mention you smell terrible. Enduring that for 50 minutes (minimum!) several times a day is torture. You'll find yourself napping in the back of the class, on the grass on campus or in the canteen with remains on a chicken fillet roll on your face. This will happen again and again, unless you stop going out on a week nights... Like that's ever going to happen.

Catherine Munnelly
Article written by
Catherine Munnelly is a colourfully-haired UCD graduate with a degree in reading books. A pint-sized bundle of wisdom, she has mastered the game of Flip-Cup, enjoys the company of bearded-men and despises rude people. When she's not writing or talking about her dog, you'll find her wandering around Europe telling folk that Leprechauns exist and Bono's her uncle.

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