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The truth behind freshman year assumptions

by Samantha Benish August 09, 2021

As summer comes to an end, the classic “start of school nerves” are starting to settle in. Going back to school is both exciting and stressful, even as a junior or senior. The nerves never truly go away. However, the feeling before freshman year of college is something that is pretty unexplainable. The “what ifs”, curiosity and worry about being dropped off in some strange place causes a lot of restlessness and stress.

But the fact of the matter is, you really can’t prepare for what college is.

I reached out and asked my followers about the assumptions that they had before freshman year of college. All of their responses were raw and real, and I wanted to elaborate on a few of my favorites.

A group of college students walking together (Getty Images)

 

“I was always told in high school that there wouldn’t be busy work in college...there is.” - Amelia Wilson, UW-Madison

Let me just explain something right off the bat: the work course load in college is a whole different ball park than high school. I knew that college was going to be hard, but I didn’t know exactly to what extent. You will do a lot of reading, a lot of writing, and a lot of stuff that doesn’t really make sense. But hey, welcome to college.

“Every professor was going to be awful and have all these obnoxious rules.” - Clara Krause, UW-Eau Claire

This couldn’t be more true. High school teachers always threaten students that college professors will have this “no nonsense” type of attitude and won’t put up with obnoxious behavior. Sure, you will have one or two tough professors, but the majority of them are pretty relaxed. They understand that we are humans, too. Just make sure to give them the respect that they deserve, and they’ll do the same to you.

“It would be easy to fit in.” - Claire Raddenbach, UW-La Crosse

Putting yourself out there is one of the hardest things we as humans can do. Living with strangers in the dorms, sitting next to a random person in a big lecture hall - it all contributes to this weird, awkward silence. One of the best things about college, though, is that you don’t have to be anyone but yourself. Fitting in seems like the most important thing the first few weeks of freshman year, but you have to remind yourself that there are many, many others going through the same thing as you. You will get through it - just be you!

“All my professors would learn my name if I just showed up to class regularly.” - Kyla Osowski, UW-Eau Claire

Although many college admission representatives will tell you differently, this is one of the hard truths of college. Many admissions desks will tell you that professors will be the first ones to reach out, but this isn’t true. College requires you to be independent. Introducing yourself on the first day of class is a great way to build a relationship with a professor. And trust me, you’ll want to be in good standing with them! Maybe they will extend a date on a paper or be a great reference in the future...

“I wasn’t going to find people like me (filipinx, filipino, filipina)!” - Trixie Cataggatan, UW-Madison

Trixie’s response is one of my favorites. One of the best parts about college, hands down, is meeting new people. Your campus will be filled with people from all different backgrounds with a unique story. You’ll meet people at the gym, in class, at a party, wherever you may end up. Be sure to reach out to as many individuals as you can - they will be the highlight of your entire college experience.

 

Thank you to Amelia, Clara, Claire, Kyla, Trixie and the rest of those who submitted an answer. Have any feedback? Drop a comment 👇 if you have any advice, questions or concerns about freshman year or college in general!

Samantha Benish


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