College: expectations versus reality

By Krystin Williams

A book bag spilling out with unnecessary school supplies, an awkward ID photo and a rather worried expression practically scream, “I am a freshman!” Within the first few weeks of school, I was bombarded with countless events, different groups to join and so many new faces that would eventually become familiar. My college expectations for the first few weeks consisted of an unnecessarily heavy work load, making college seem like nothing but a more terrible version of high school with a few parties.

To my surprise, college was nothing at all like I had expected: the people were actually nice! During move-in day, I was surprised to be greeted by several helpers who voluntarily wanted to carry my huge bin of clothes up several flights of stairs. I gained a feeling of relief: college was not just like another bad sitcom or a replica of American Pie. This was a real, in the flesh place that I knew I wanted to be.

As I finally ascended the stairs going towards my new home, I walked up to the door with my key in hand, ready to open the door into adulthood. For some reason, I expected the decorating part of the room to be relatively quick and easy. However, I spent three hours unpacking and nailing pictures into the walls. After saying goodbye to my mother, a moment one can never really prepare for, my roommate and I sat on our beds and exhaled, anxiously awaiting to see what college had in store for us. In the back of my mind, I assumed that this perfect feeling of bliss and nostalgia would soon end once classes actually started.

Typically, most freshmen assume that college is filled with parties, good food and sleep deprivation. After my first week, I am happy to tell you that for me, this is completely accurate! The hardest part of a school week is definitely the workload and finding time for yourself. Although school work always comes first on the list, it is necessary to maintain a healthy balance between work and extracurricular activities.

As the weeks seem to fly past me, I am slowly starting to mold into the pattern of things at Lawrence. Although the amount of reading I have on a daily basis can tire even the most energized individuals, somehow with a cup of coffee I am able to pull through. At the start of the first week of school, I was surprised with how quickly my professors went straight into their curriculum. Honestly, I was still trying to get over my case of senioritis. Lawrence definitely is a university that aims towards success, which I now have learned to appreciate. I am happy to know that being a student here will ultimately be worth the college tuition, even though the work is tough.

College provides a personal experience for each and every individual who steps foot on campus. While only being at Lawrence for a few short weeks, the overall experience has provided me with an everlasting effect. College is not as crazy as it is depicted in television shows and movies. The main goal of Lawrence is education, hard work and success. As I prepare for the next four years of my life here, I remain hopeful and humble for everything and everyone that I will soon encounter.