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May 30, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

College Expectations -- What is reality and what is fiction

By Colleen Hammer More Blogs by This Author

The one thing about going to a university that was hard for me was that everyone seemed to have a group of friends that seemed to be crazy about them. In my freshman year I was living at a good walk away from campus, in what we called the Valleys. I lived in Valley 2, and you could walk to campus past a pond. I met my roommate Jenni, and immediately felt like for the first time I would have a "best girl friend." 

We had talked for a few weeks, on and off. The first month to college life was scary and new to me. It was the first time for me to be away from home. Jenni seemed to adjust faster than I did, and immediately joined a sorority. I continued on with my studies, and tried to find a way to fit into the life of a college student. She owned the television, and would keep MTV on for a good portion of the time. I realized that was part of living with someone, dividing time with someone else.

Pretty soon, we were barely speaking. She would come home from classes, slam her backpack down on the ground, and pop in some headphones at her laptop to watch shows on her laptop. Jenni had over 1,000 friends on Facebook, and would have pictures posted all the time of her party endeavors from the night before.

I had not even gotten to say "hello" when she decided that I was no longer good enough to speak to. I was afraid to even bring up a conversation with the fact that she may reject me.

College can be a different experience for everyone. You may get lucky, and you may make friends easier than others. In my case, I struggled with people who did not fit the category of a friend. I spent a lot of time in college discovering myself, and how I was changing. I can honestly say that college is advertised to be something that is not what it actually is. 

Many people believe college is a party palace, with tons of friends willing to be there for you. It is a rite of passage. But people are different than what you would expect. College can be a trying time for an individual. Friends seem to be of all sorts of people, but for this reason I find that college is a great experience for assimilating into real life.

Think of it this way: You are not always going to be friends with everyone you meet. In fact, people are going to be more varying in different personalities.


My next roommate was named Jessica. She was engaged, and had lived with me up until December when she said she was pregnant and not going to attend school anymore. A lot of my friends in college did not really end up finishing what they started. But that is part of the experience. You are going to meet people that end up leaving and staying. My father used to tell me I was part of a percentage when I came into college, and that number of people surrounding me had left. I was part of a 65% for Western Michigan University, according to a newspaper of graduates. That was my motivation to get through. There were times I wanted to quit, but I realized the goal would be far better than letting having not many friends get to me.

Expectations of college are often put into our heads when we think of television. We see people playing sports, and drinking alcohol. Also the image of Greek life appears in our heads. But sometimes, these expectations are different. We have to realize that our relationships are what we make. College can be a great experience, you just have to find the right people who are into your interests and realize it is a number game. People are going to be more varied, so you have to find what you are interested in to find others like you.

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