What going to college is really like

Erica Bjorklund, Feature writer

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Going to college is something that almost everyone anticipates while they’re in high school. But sometimes, going to college isn’t everything that people expect it to be. Many students experience struggles and are often surprised at how different college is than high school.

Sophomore at University of Illinois Sydney Duntz was taken aback when she first went away to college. Duntz originally committed to University of Tennessee in the fall of 2018. She stayed for a semester, but right away she knew it wasn’t the right place for her.

Duntz ended up transferring to Prairie State to finish off the year. “For me, it was horrible, but, that’s only because I transferred from a school that I didn’t like, to a community college, and now I’m transferring to University of Illinois,” Duntz said.

Many students face the reality that the school they chose isn’t right for them, however that isn’t the end of the world and there are plenty of things one can do to get the best college experience.

Once you go away to college you have an immense amount of freedom, which can be good or bad. In high school students are nurtured, so going off to college can bring many students to a higher level of independence.

Grace Elfner, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, realized that she had to be there for herself and everything was in her hands once she left high school. Not having a familiar face or someone there to push her to do things was eye opening in that she truly needed to be independent.

“I expected college to be very carefree and fun all the time. There is a lot of freedom, but you have to have your own back. o one else is going to encourage you,” Elfner said. Lots of students who go away to college aren’t used to having to push themselves and do everything by themselves, so college can be a huge eye-opener. Elfner admitted to being surprised by how much she had to do on her own at the University of Kentucky.

Freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, Josh Bridges expected most of the things he’s experienced so far while away at school. The frat parties and group activities at his school were no surprise to him, but there were a few things that took him off guard.

“It’s not what I expected in that things are a lot more separate race wise. They’re obviously exceptions, but for the most part besides people in sports, white people mostly hangout with other white people and black people mainly hangout with other black people,” said Bridges.

For some, it is a lot harder to find a group of friends when going to college, but for Bridges it was easier because he is on the track team. Not everyone gets the opportunity to have a set group of people as soon as they get to college; however,there are many things that new college students can do in order to make a group of friends, so get out there.

Plenty of students go away to college expecting it to be more fun than work, and they are faced with a rude awakening. You can make the best of your college experience by having your own back, making a solid group of friends, and making the best of all situations you face.

“Once you get to school try to establish a routine with schoolwork, work, and a social life early on to keep a balance throughout the semester. Even though you’re getting so much free time, use it wisely,” Duntz said.

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