I remember the last month of high school: everyone knew where they were going and absolutely everyone was talking about college. They expected an incredible amount of fun, from parties to extracurricular activities — it was all anyone talked about. But now, having come to college and gone through a quarter-and-a-half, we’ve all realized that the reality of college has not quite met our expectations.

But to all you prospective freshmen who might be reading this (I know, I stalked the column last year) and current freshmen, the reality is just because college is tough, does not mean it isn’t great.

There’s the absolute fun part of college, and then, there’s the workload.

In the months leading up to packing and leaving for college, most, if not all of us, thought  college was going to be a breeze. For some reason, I expected a small workload and not having to worry too much about classes, like in high school. Looking back at those times, I have absolutely no idea why I thought that.

The reality is that college classes are hard and actually require you to use your brain. It’s not about partying every weekend. With hardly any homework or extra credit, you need to do well on your midterms, finals and any sort of work that you have to turn in.

It’s easy to get caught up with your friends at lunch or stalk friends from home on Facebook, but you need to learn how to manage your time well.

It’s also safe to say some of us believed that we could skip class whenever, without it hurting our grades. This might be true for some classes, but not for others. Either way, even if you skipped classes, you still need to keep up with reading.

Which brings up my next point: we have a lot of reading — and not just for English class. For some odd reason, I expected less reading than high school. But that doesn’t really make sense because, for most of us, it was easy to get away with not reading in high school.

Another expectation to add to the list was that we were going to meet a lot of new, amazing people that would become our best friends within the first weeks of moving in.

This, although incredibly nice to believe, is somewhat wrong.

While I did find my best friends and mesh lovingly with them, it didn’t happen for me the second I moved in, or even during Week of Welcome (WOW). It took me time to find people I liked and really got along with. It’s also easy to want to stick with your friends from home who also chose Cal Poly. As comforting as it might be to have someone from home be with you all the time, branch out. It’s much more satisfying to find new people that you can click with.

And that doesn’t just apply to you prospective freshmen reading this. Current freshmen: in your classes, get to know other people around you. Don’t just shut people out thinking that you already have your set of friends and don’t really care to make new ones — it’s nice when you get a “Hi” and an introduction from the person sitting next to you.

And you know that whole 25-35 hours of studying in bright yellow that we saw around every corner during WOW and the few weeks following that? I remember when I thought that was absolute nonsense and no one in their right mind would be studying that much? I haven’t counted up how many hours I’ve studied, but as I’m in the College of Liberal Arts, it’s probably less than all ya’ll. (Just kidding, it’s so not. Being in the College of Liberal Arts does not mean that I prance around on the hills doing nothing but relaxing and listening to music all the days of the week).

But back to my point, you’d be surprised to realize how much studying we actually do. It might not add up to 25 or 35 hours — well maybe — but we still do a heck of a lot of studying.

I, like many of you, expected so much from college, and while many of these expectations have yet to be proven by reality, a lot of our expectations were far off. Yes, our heart did break a little when reality hit us, but college has arguably been more fun than high school.

Even with some miscalculated expectations, we’re still having the time of our lives, aren’t we?

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