The Freshman Experience: Misconceptions & Ask a Freshman!

Are college classes harder than high school? Is college a constant party? We're tackling common college questions. PLUS: Ask a freshman your questions!
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It's true - every girl has a HUGE list of assumptions about college. What classes will be like, the party scene, glamorous style, and dorm life...the list goes on and on. Being the planner that I am, before I came to college, I basically planned out my college life. I knew what my friends' life was like at other schools; why should Northeastern be any different? I thought that being prepared would lead me to know everything about college.

Wrong! I have been proven incorrect countless times so far this year. I had plenty of assumptions about college - now, I have a list of misconceptions.

It's important to remember when leaving for school that everything here is new; don't be upset when things don't turn out the way you thought they would. Sometimes, being wrong turns out to be good news! Below is a quick list of a few things that I have personally realized in my first two months of college.

Top 5 Misconceptions About College

  • Roommates spend a lot of time together. Now, I mentioned in earlier posts that I was blessed to get along well with my roommate. We did spent a lot of time together! We had similar friend circles and the same classes. However, as we've gotten to know new people and get involved in new things, we have spent less time together. We don't eat together every day, sit by each other at every lecture, and go to every activity at the same time. We live together in a wonderful harmony, but there are some days where we see only a few hours of each other!
  • College classes are crazy hard. One of my favorite English teachers always told us that "college isn't harder; it's just different." This comment (well-known and loved by every high school junior and senior) has always been up for debate. However, I'm starting to realize that Mr. Bulman knew what he was talking about. The first year of college is often a time for filling general requirements. A lot of classes are review from courses taken in high school. Just remember - college is different! Readings are longer, essays are more stressful, and deadlines are final. As long as you plan ahead and don't procrastinate, college classes shouldn't be crazy hard.
  • You'll meet your best friends - instantly. I was always pretty confident in my ability to make friends; that is, until the first few weeks of school. It takes time to make lasting connections with people. You'll meet a ton of students your first few weeks of school, but don't expect the first people you meet to be your BFF's for life. Of course, there's always the chance that you'll luck out and will have your bridesmaids set by the end of five days. It's all the luck of the draw.
  • Responsibility levels are comparable to high school. Adults always warned me: "In college, all the responsibility is on your shoulders! There's going to be so much more personal responsibility. You need to be really mature." I'd seen the maturity of my older college friends - I figured adults were just trying to scare me. Wrong again! It's up to you to go to class, eat healthy, get sleep, and make smart decisions. Even if you had a ton of freedom in high school and managed it well, there's even more in college. The responsibilities are many.
  • Weekends are for fun - the week is all work, work, work. My schedule has a lot of free time in it. Sure, I spend 80% of that time studying. However, 20% of that time is spent exploring the city, watching football, shopping (it's a problem) and tons of other fun experiences! A lot of these happen during the week as well. Don't work yourself ragged - pencil in some relaxation/fun time during the week. That way you won't be wound up and exhausted by the weekend.

This is only a short list of things that I've learned thus far. Believe me, I will be adding to that list daily for the next four years!

Ask a freshman!

Over the next two weeks, I'll be taking on an additional responsibility from my usual Freshman Experience posts to open the floor to you! I remember where I was last year; I was obsessed with college. Like, seriously obsessed. My hobby was making packing lists - no joke. At the end of October, I was just finishing up my Northeastern application and I was going insane! I had so many questions!

Now I'm four months into an internship where I have the amazing opportunity to share my college experience with anyone who might be as college-obsessed as I was (am!). I try to think of the major questions I had before entering college and answer them as best I can. Of course, there are always more miscellaneous questions that I might not think of. That's where this post comes in.

Go ahead - ask!

This week, I'm turning the spotlight to all of the curious CF readers out there. I want to know: what are your burning questions? What do you need to know about college life? Ask about anything! I'd be happy to answer any questions about academics, activities, dorm life, the application process, landing an internship, style - anything! Go ahead and ask which kind of laundry hamper works best. It's a legitimate question!

So, high school students, current freshmen, and college girls and grads: in the next few days, leave your questions in a comment. Depending on the volume of questions asked, I will do my best to address as many as possible. Below is a list of Freshman Experience topics covered. Feel free to use these as inspiration!

I look forward to answering all of your best questions!

More Freshman Year Tips, Experiences, and Advice

This article is part of our Freshman Experience series. For more, see: 8 Week Countdown, College Orientation, Tips & Tricks for Meeting the Roommate, Dorm Room Shopping Tips, First Semester Goals, College Packing List, Getting Involved on Campus, 4 Ways to Ease Midterm Stress, Freshman Year Questions - Answered, Thanksgiving Break Essentials, Tackling Holiday Shopping in College, First Semester Goals Revisited, and Final Thoughts.

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