I thought I knew everything about college before I came to Brown. I thought that I was headed off to four years of constant fun, excitement and recklessness. Sitting here on the month-iversary of my arrival on College Hill, I now realize that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. The following are the numerous mistakes in my thinking.
Expectation: College parties are always awesome and wild. They enlighten and change lives forever.
Reality: Nope. Most of the parties I have been to are overcrowded and sweaty groups of people randomly bumping into each other. I have wandered around disgusting houses full of empty cans, paid money to stand in rooms with no music and walked into heavily advertised parties before immediately leaving upon seeing the 10 people awkwardly spread throughout the dance floor. My most vivid memories are of my group of friends and I disgruntledly meandering away from another party before hearing about some apparent frat party that no one is invited to and may or may not exist.
Yeet. You wish.
Expectation: I worked so hard in high school, college work is going to be a piece of cake!
Reality: In high school, I didn’t have to read an entire book in two days. Well, at least now I have more time to do all that work! Except for activities, meetings and sections…
In the months before I came to Brown, a lot of people told me how “easy” it would be. And at the time it seemed true. Only four classes! And those classes only met a couple times a week! On paper I had a LOT more free time. But then I actually started taking classes and began activities. All I really need to say is that I had planned on shopping five classes, and I made it two days before dropping down to four. I really need to get this Blog post written so I can get back to the play I have to read and the paper I have to write and those other packets I have to read and these other things I have to memorize. But seriously, who’s panicking?
Expectation: Everyone will really get to know each other, if you know what I’m saying. 😉
Reality: Everyone just gets each other sick. The flu began spreading approximately 10 minutes after we arrived on campus. Then there was a head cold. And then a stomach cold. And then another head cold. I’ve been in a constant state of sneezing, coughing and nose-running for about two consecutive weeks, with no sign of let-up. But others have been far more unfortunate and have somehow caught every single iteration of every single disease. I’ve learned that, as cruel as it may be, its often best to leave these people alone and stay away. You could be next.
My life in a nutshell.
Expectation: I’m going to be very different from my high school self. I’m going to be cool, confident and always collected.
Reality: I’m somehow even more of a panicky klutz than I was in high school. In the course of a month, I’ve fallen off of a two-foot stool (in front of new people I was trying to befriend), gotten lost while trying to go from the Pembroke seal to Andrews, dropped my Ratty omelet sheet into the eggs at the station and fallen asleep with my contact lenses in. In the latter case, I woke up with eyes drier than the Sahara Desert and more painful than when I had a staph infection (got that in sixth grade music class). I proceeded to panic, put my head down and sprint from my room in Keeney to the Brown Health building before begging the doctors to help me.
Yes, college is not the dream world wonderland I had been imagining. But it’s still pretty damn sweet. After all, how often do you get to live with your best friends only a couple doors down the hall from you? How many places allow you to take pretty much whatever you want your first term (and switch to S/NC or even completely drop a class if you start failing)? So yeah, college isn’t the always awesome thrillride had been expecting. But it’s a pretty great reality nonetheless.