The real college experience

You always heard high school would be the best years of your life. Four years later, we now hear idealizations of the college experience.

John Belushi
John Belushi is shocked by the truth.

Just about every college movie depicts college as a crazy time with liquor galore and toga parties. Sorry, John Belushi. This isn’t Animal House.


Sure, “Playboy” ranked Colorado State University in 12th place for top party schools in 1987 and 15th place in 2002. It probably has something to do with the infinite amount of breweries in Fort Collins. You’ll quickly find that you won’t have enough leisure time to rock and roll all night, party every day and maintain great grades.

The most common college rumor is the freshman 15. Luckily, reality is closer to the freshman five. You may even lose a few pounds from the stress of a new environment.

If you were an over-achiever in high school, you probably thought to yourself, “I can’t wait until I get into college and don’t have to deal with these slackers.” Unfortunately, even selective colleges have a handful of idiots. The worst of the worst from high school didn’t get into college, but just about everyone else did. Be prepared for every kind of stupid: people who don’t understand why they were dumped, people who don’t know basic geography such as the location of Canada, people who think classes with take-home tests and one-page essays are difficult. Count on getting one of these gems for a group project. It might even be someone you went to high school with (if you’re from Northern Colorado, you will run into more people you disliked from high school than your high school friends).

You may believe you will keep in touch with your high school friends.  If they attend the same university as you, these friendships may last, or you may learn you didn’t have much in common. It takes a lot of effort to maintain these old friendships, regardless of the physical distance. But if you lose touch, you can always make friends in class or on your dorm floor.

just the ones i'm getting rid of
It’s time to crack open the textbooks (Photo credit: Plutor).

The common motto in high school was that you were being prepared for college. If you coasted through high school with easy classes, you’re in for a surprise. College expects students to mentally grow at a fast pace. However, if you took advanced placement classes in high school, you will find these classes are similarly structured. If you took a literature course, you may even read some of the same books in college.

Many are intimidated by the increased expectations for college students and fear that professors will assign impossible tests and essays. Although professors won’t give second chances for forgotten assignment, they aren’t sadists with your academic success as long as you attend class and participate.

Professors are aware that some assignments are particularly difficult, so most build easy points into the grade book. Many will include attendance or participation points. Others offer a couple extra credit opportunities or have easy pop quizzes over the homework. Some professors even tell students to set up an appointment with them or the counseling center if it becomes difficult to manage the stress of school.

Collegian Staff Reporter Katie Schmidt can be reached at

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