11 Unavoidable College Struggles I Wish Someone Warned Me About
Believe me when I tell you that college goes by in a flash. Everything is one alcohol-induced blur.
Each semester feels like a week, and before you know it, you'll be reluctantly buying your cap and gown for commencement.
Take it from a guy who's in his last few weeks of his collegiate career: One day you'll be a wide-eyed freshman throwing back shots of Traveler's Club, and the next, you'll be an anxiety-ridden, substance-dependent senior scavenging for jobs on online job boards.
During the past few years, I was able to create moments with people I'll never forget, all while also enduring my fair share of "SMH" moments.
In retrospect, college was by far the best and most meaningful time of my life. You really do find yourself (whatever that means).
Over the course of four or five years, you'll have enough nonsensical experiences to last a lifetime, and them some.
You'll look back on your college career in 20 years and realize the stories and experiences you made were beyond priceless.
The failed relationships, one-night stands, spontaneous trips, day drinks and other random moments will be stories you can tell your grandchildren when they come of age.
If you're about to be a freshman in the fall and are wondering what you can expect in the years to come, here are 11 things in college you'll hate (or low-key love) to endure:
1. Extended Lecture Halls
What could possibly be worse than getting up for an hour and a half class at 8 am? A three hour lecture that begins at 8 pm in East Bumblef*ck.
(East Bumblef*ck being the furthest possible location within the college’s confines; it's a location that requires you to take two or three buses and leave your dorm an hour before class.)
To compound your issues, the class is taught by a 70-year-old geezer who keeps complaining about how far he had to walk from the parking lot to get class or how hard it is to properly upload an assignment online.
As the class progresses, you’ll keep drawing up schemes on how to browse Snapchat and Instagram without wasting too much phone battery.
You’ll make an effort to pay attention, but you later reason using this time to sleep is more valuable because you’re going to be up late teaching yourself the material regardless. AVOID THREE-HOUR CLASSES AT ALL COSTS.
2. Missed Assignment Deadlines
“Oh sh*t, that was due today?"
"Is there extra credit in this class?"
"Do you think the teacher will boost my grade if I go to office hours?"
3. Being “Sexiled”
It’s 1 am, and you have class tomorrow: Your roommate just texted you claiming he or she will “Need the room for 30 mins.”
Your excitement for him or her warrants you to put on some sweats and take hike to the nearest common room, forgetting any prior personal curfews. Then, 1 am turns into 1:45 am, and you’re wondering what could possibly be going on.
“Are the spending too much time on foreplay?”
“Did they fall asleep?”
“Maybe he couldn’t keep it up?”
“Did she blue ball him?”
By the time the clock turns 2, all the excitement you previously had for your roommate has completely transformed into anger. At that point, you have two options: 1. Interrupt your roommate’s sexy time or 2. Set up shop on the common room’s comfiest couch. Either way, you’re chalking up that night to a loss.
4. Vodka-Induced Hangovers
There will be one (or a few) night(s) during your four-or-five-year college tenure when you’ll opt to relax from the demands of an exam-filled week with a swig of a brew or two.
The night will then escalate when your friends demand you go out with them because you brushed them off last week.
Following your unsuccessful plea to brush them off, you find yourself in the middle of crowded basement party pondering why the girl next to you is twerking to Taylor Swift.
As the night progresses, you’ll find the keg is polluted with cheap PBR, and you opt to drink Jungle Juice, as it’s the only tolerable beverage available.
By your fourth cup of Traveler’s Club and Hawaiian Punch, your sex drive is on 10, and you're willing to hook up with anything in arm's reach.
Your night of partying doesn’t go without consequence, as you’ll wake up at noon tired, dehydrated and full of regrets. WHY GOD?
5. Skimpy Pockets
At times in your collegiate career, you may have to ask yourself questions like, “Do I want to turn up tonight or do I want to eat for the next two days?” And, “Will this Wendy’s Single Combo hold me over for the next six or seven hours?”
There will be times — countless ones — when Pop-Tarts, Ramen Noodles, cereal and PB&J sandwiches are your best friend. The coming-of-age struggle is never realer than in your collegiate years. As if paying $100,000 over four years wasn’t bad enough.
6. Unpaid Internships
Alert: Experience matters more than GPA ever will. No one cares about your GPA after you get your first job. Hell, your first employer may not even give two sh*ts about your academic performance.
I really shouldn’t have to explain this one, but I’ll go ahead and do so anyway:
In order to make your résumé stick out amongst thousands of other pieces of paper, it’s important to get “valuable” internship or work experience.
The worst part of receiving an unpaid internship is that more often than not, you’ll be paying to work, since you'll have to fork over a grand to your university to receive credit for your slave labor.
If you can, save yourself from the financial burden of an unpaid internship and find a company that at least pays for your commute or food.
7. General Education Classes
“Why am I taking 'Classical Chinese Film and Literature' again? Oh yeah, because I’m going to need to know facts about Feng Xiaogang when I’m a compensation analyst or when I go back to school for my MBA."
Everything makes perfect sense now. The Cultural Revolution never seemed so interesting.
8. Group Projects
Group projects are the devil’s work. At first, it may seem as though you’re being let off the hook and you’re in clear when you only have to write a page or two of your group’s 10-page essay.
But then, you realize either: A. Everyone in the group feels the need to go on various power trips; B. You’re the only doing the work; or C. None of you guys paid attention in class, and the project is due within the next few days.
Alert: Never work with your friends because if you do, nothing will get finished in a timely manner.
It's like eating Popeye's Chicken. It may sound nice when the idea is first brought up, but when you're in the midst of things, you realize what a bad decision you made.
9. Dealing With Drunk Friends
Kanye said it best in, “Drunk & Hot Girls”: “'Ah da da da da.' That's how the f*ck you sound.”
There’s nothing more annoying your drunk, mumbled-mouth friends trying to tell you how great their nights were while their breath reeks of buffalo chicken pizza and cheap vodka. Chill, bro. Take it down a couple notches.
10. College Bars
After two or three years of overly crowded, stench-heavy and poorly ventilated house parties, you’re more than ready to take on the local bars near your school.
The only catch is they’re still overly crowded and poorly ventilated! Now, there are just more muscle-bound frat guys in V-neck sweaters, snapbacks and Sperry boat shoes.
Oh, and the DJ feels the need to play Pitbull’s whole discography, every night, without fail.
Spoiler: The same people you see at the bar are the same people you see at every house party. Nothing changes except for the location.
11. Your Final Semester
As your parents (or your alcoholic uncle who peaked in high school) probably told you, college is the best time of your life.
As the days wind down toward graduation, you begin to realize how special those past four years were.
There will be no more winter or spring breaks, no more waking up after noon and no more being able to walk home obliterated from a night of drinking.
Soak up everything in for what's it worth. Try to enroll in as many GPA boosters as possible, as "Senioritis" is real.
As the clock winds down, you won't have the motivation to study, write papers, go to class, etc. By March or April, you'll be mentally checked out.
May marks the beginning of adult life. If you’re reading this and your graduation is next month, then it may be too late.