The Time Of Your Life: 23 Things You Will Most Definitely Go Through In Your 4 Years At College

After the four (or five) years of high school and drinking booze stolen from your parents' liquor cabinet, college can seem like a sanctuary of sorts.

Freshmen flood their chosen campus with eager expectations of independence and freedom, classes held in prestigious, ivy-covered buildings, new friends, hookups, love interests and getting drunk legally.

Then, of course, there’s the ultimate goal of deciding in which direction your life will go after the next four years come to a close.

I am now approaching the final year of my college experience, and if there is one thing I can tell you, it’s that time really does fly.

Your parents aren’t kidding when they say that your college years will be some of the best years of your life. So, for all you lucky freshman, and for any of you trying to remain in denial of an impending graduation, here are the things you can expect to learn, or have learned, throughout your university experience:

1. You will never forget your first week on campus; hold the experience near and dear to your heart.

2. Your grades during your first year usually suck. You will probably blame high school or your parents for your lack of preparation.

3. There is no such thing as not having any homework in college. There is always something you should be doing; it’s just up to you to figure out what that is.

4. The freshman 15 is a very real thing; either come to terms with it and replace your jeans with sweatpants, or make a commitment with the gym and against the snack bar.

5. You will probably never wake up for your 8:30 am class.

6. Hooking up in the dorms is far from ideal. Single beds are hardly enough room for one person, let alone two.

Also, due to the restrictive confines of traditional residence-style rooms, your post-bar activities will likely turn in to a very weird threesome, whether anyone likes it or not.

7. Despite the less-than-ideal dating culture that thrives in the college world, don’t be afraid to date around throughout your experience.

It’s easy to get so caught up in your school work, friends and weekly endeavors that you forget to go outside of your comfort zone and go on a few traditional dates.

If the opportunity arises, don’t be afraid to say yes. You never know whom you might strike up a connection with outside of the bar or the library.

8. Despite your newfound independence, you actually will start to miss your parents.

9. Public transportation will quickly become the bane of your existence.

10. On that note, running for the bus never gets any less embarrassing. Bus drivers can be cruel, heartless people at times and they will leave you behind.

11. Starbucks, Booster Juice and “cheap” beer nights at the bar will make you very poor, very quickly. Get used to being poor.

12. In case you weren’t poor enough already, you will probably have to sell your soul to afford your textbooks for the year. According to popular myth, the insane cost is due to the fact that they are made out of unicorn tears and the blood of Jesus.

13. There are certain times of the year when getting a machine or squat rack at the gym is pretty much out of the question and people will actually resort to violence if you try to beat them to an open treadmill: September, after the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, at the start of the New Year and before spring break.

14. Hunter and Ugg boots, Canada Goose or Aritzia winter jackets, LuLulemon tights and Starbucks are all necessary indicators of achieving #collegebetchstatus.

15. Mixing alcohol is almost always the precursor to bad decisions, memory loss and large-scale regret. Either stick with your Jagerbombs or stick with tequila.

Drink them together and you will probably end up partially naked and star-fished in the bar bathroom or in a ditch with no trace of the dignity you previously possessed.

16. It won’t take many homecomings or St.Patrick's Day parties to figure out that day drinking doesn’t generally end well for people. A full day of drinking is like volunteering as tribute for the Hunger Games.

If you do decide to darty (day party), just remember to load up on carbs in the morning; make a commitment with yourself to avoid hard liquor until at least after 1 pm, lock yourself out of your phone to avoid drunk texts and leave no drunk friend behind. May the odds be ever in your favor.

17. You probably won’t meet the love of your life at the bar. You will, however, meet your future one-night stand.

18. On that note, one-night stands are very rarely sexy. They usually begin and end with a confused and sloppy period of dry humping that you won’t remember when you wake up the next morning.

That is until you roll over, hungover and sweaty, to come face-to-face with last night’s bad decision. The horror is very real. Just try to get out of there before you have to talk to your drunken lover and you can almost pretend it didn’t happen.

At least until the walk of shame…

19. When walk-of-shaming, either own it like it's the stride of pride or run like hell and hurl yourself into a cab as you flee the scene of the crime.

20. Midterm/exam season really is hell on campus. This unfortunate time of year means complete sobriety, non-existent sleeping patterns, days on end of literally camping out in the library like a homeless student, sock buns, sweat pants, stress eating and the constant desire to break down in tears and drop out of school.

You are never alone; just hang in there.

21. The hardest lesson you’ll learn in university is that you can skip class and no one will care; you can go out every night and never do your readings and no one will lecture you, but your grades will suffer.

Let first year be your learning curve to drink yourself into bad grades, an unnaturally high alcohol tolerance and a beer gut.

After that, it’s up to you to master the balance between working hard and playing hard. Do this, and you will get all of the college experience without sacrificing your academic success. Kiss that promising career at McDonald's goodbye because you have bigger things ahead.

22. You will, without exception, meet some truly amazing people who will become your lifelong best friends.

23. Lastly, and most importantly, as much as you may complain about the workload and stress, the pressure your parents place on you, your roommates or some of your less-than-exciting classes, remember that you are lucky to be where you are.

This is your chance to make some serious memories. As soon as you leave, you will want to come back, and your university experience will always be a part of who you are and, of course, who you eventually become.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It