What You Think Starting College Will Be Like... Vs What It's Actually Like

What You Think Starting College Will Be Like... Vs What It's Actually Like

For many, venturing into third-level education is a fresh start with aspirations, new friends, and new settings.

However, what they don't tell you is that it's all a load of shite;  you wont keep up any plans at all.


1. 'I'm going to attend every lecture and seminar'

Expectation: Within your first week you'll learn of the term 'golden week'– which means showing up to every lecture and seminar without fail for an entire week. Easy peasy, right?

Reality: Yeah... this magical phrase has decreased dramatically in use, and you now hear a lot more about something called a 'black week'. Officially this involves not showing up to any classes for an entire week – but to you, it means watching the entire box-set of Orange Is The New Black and eating copious amounts of ice-cream.




2. 'I'm going to have all my essays in early so I can relax'

Expectation: You'll get started on each essay the week you're given the brief, making sure you have loads of time to get it finished – and thus allowing you to spend your evenings chilling, practising mindfulness and getting some early nights in.

Reality: It's 2am, you're running out of coffee, having heart palpitations and soaking up your tears with crumpled pieces of paper. On more than one occasion you've given up, slept and made up some half-arsed excuse the next day... but you're not going to do that again. Surely.




3. 'I'll always pay attention in lectures, it'll be so easy'

Expectation: You're going to sit at the front of the lecture hall, diligently taking notes and generally outsmarting the salmon of knowledge himself.

Reality: You spent an entire two-hour period last Thursday morning sending your mate Snapchats of you filtered to look like a dog, deer, and even a muffin. And the closest thing you have to notes is your lecturer's voice in the background.


4. 'I'm going to keep an organised folder for all of my subjects'

Expectation: You'll have sections colour-coded by subject, complete with relevant reading material and citations.


Reality: Someone came up to you last week in the student bar and said "Aren't you the person who always needs to ask for a pen in lectures?". And you took that as a win, because hey – someone noticed you attending a lecture!



5. 'I'm only going to eat a healthy, balanced lunch I've made myself'

Expectation: Carrots, hummus and grilled chicken every single day – it'll save money AND keep you fit, fast and strong.

Reality: You're on your third takeaway of the week, and the only chicken you've eaten has been those goujons dripping in curry sauce – while your vegetable intake has come mainly from spice bags. Worse still, when someone referred to their 'lunchbox' the other day, you thought they meant 'snackbox'.




6. 'I'm only going to drink once a week'

Expectation: To fit in with your healthy lifestyle and strict gym routine, you've made the conscious decision to only drink once a week, in order to maintain your fitness goals and keep your wallet heavy.

Reality: The bouncer in Dicey's knows you on a first-name basis.



7. 'I'm going to be super-active in society life'

Expectation: You'll joined loads of societies, nab yourself a committee position or two, and show up to every meeting in order to become a highly valued member of student life.

Reality:  You went to the first meeting for the free pizza, but since then your activity levels have been... sparse. Although, you do occasionally make an appearance is for the cheap nights out and free stuff. So there's that, right?



8. 'I'm going to be BFF's with the first friend I make'


Expectation: You're so happy to have sat beside Kate on the first day, and because your name begins with a 'K' too, you know you're going to be best friends forever.

Reality: You think her name's Katherine, but you're not sure, and as a result you avoid eye-contact and sit as far away as possible from her in lectures.


9. And finally: 'I'm not going to care about that boy and focus on my studies instead'

Expectation: You've decided that as you're in university you won't give the time of day to that immature boy, and you'll focus on your studies instead.

Reality: It's 3am, and you've just checked your phone for the 11th time in an hour to see if he's texted. He hasn't.


Ciara Finnegan

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