College: Expectations vs. Reality

  1. Expectation: You won’t put off your assignments until the last minute

If like me, you were the queen of procrastination at school, always handing up your work late (if at all), you probably came to college with notions of a fresh start, where you would start your work the day you got it, even hand in assignments early, especially since you have literally months to do some of them.

Reality: You submit assignments literally minutes before the deadline.

Unfortunately, all your notions turned out to be just that, notions. You soon find yourself frantically hammering at your keyboard at 3 a.m, a deranged look in your eye similar to that of someone having a psychotic episode, attempting to write a 2,000 word essay by 9 a.m.( My personal rock bottom was coming in from a night out and deciding to complete an assignment whilst still slightly intoxicated. This is not advisable.)

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  1. Expectation: Going to all of your lectures.

At the start of the year it’s hammered into you by all of your lecturers how important attendance at lectures and tutorials is and you truly heed their warnings, you want to get the most education you can for your money, and you get off to a good start.

Reality: You struggle to make it in for 12 pm.

You don’t quite understand how but soon the epidemic that seems to sweep the student population infects you and you find yourself struggling to wake up for 11, your bed is just far too cosy to leave. Soon a “golden week” for you is just turning up to more lectures than you miss.

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  1. Expectation: College will be non stop parties.

We’ve all seen the movies, heard the legendary stories, half the reason we go to college is because we want to party. So you set off for college with your suitcase of bodycon dresses and hope in your borderline alcoholic heart.

Reality: You watch more Netflix that should be humanly possible and rarely get out of your pajamas.

After the hype of freshers week the reality that you are poor, tired, and haven’t started any of your assignments yet kind of comes in between you and your love of “the sesh”. Somehow, you’ve managed to watch 48 episodes of how I met your mother in 24 hours.

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  1. Expectation: You’re going to eat healthily.

You’ve already fallen victim to the 6th year stone, you’re not going to let the freshers fifteen get you too. You think you’re going to eat nothing but fruit and veg and cook yourself meals worthy of a Michelin star. Your body is a temple.

Reality: You survive on a strict diet of instant noodles and tears.

All your good intentions go down the drain, you don’t remember the last time you ate something that wasn’t beige. Your body is a glorified garbage bin.

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  1. Expectation: Living away from your parents is going to be so liberating.

You think that at college you’ll be able to eat what you want, go out and come home when you want, go to bed when you want, essentially do whatever you want, without being nagged by your parents. You think to yourself “I’m a grown up capable of making my own decisions now.”. You are wrong.

Reality: You call your mom crying at least once a day.

Everything is going smoothly until about week two when you get freshers flu from which you never recover. You need your mom to feed you vegetables and lemsips, but she isn’t there.This new lower standard of health soon takes it’s toll on your mental stability and you find yourself calling home in floods of tears because you got your hair stuck in a zipper.

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Lies You Tell Your Parents When You’re at College (5 Lies in 5 Minutes)

Scene: It’s twelve o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon, as you lie swaddled up in your duvet. The unforgiving sun creeps through your blinds lighting up the chaos that is your room. You realise that you are still wearing your clothes from the night before, the half empty Four Seasons pizza box haphazardly thrown on your floor provides evidence beyond all reasonable doubt that you did, in fact, go to Angel Lane last night and spend all your money on three for ten Jägerbombs and pizza.

You do what any self respecting, independent adult deemed intelligent enough to enter third level education does when they find themselves in a pickle – you call your mammy.

Lying ensues.

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1. “Hi mam, just calling to say hello. No, no, I don’t want anything. Can’t I just call for a chat? When did you become so cynical?”

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2. “Yes of course I know what time it is!” Looking at the clock you mumble “whoops” under your breath. Another day, another missed tutorial. “Nothing, I didn’t say anything. I have no lectures until this evening, so I’m taking a study break to call you now.”

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Just when you thought you had charmed your way out of the weekly tirade of questions, the dreaded “are you taking care of yourself?” rears its ugly head.

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3. “You worry too much! Of course I take care of myself, I even cooked for myself last night. Roast chicken, that’s right, yeah.”

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4. “Yes I’m sure that I didn’t call because I wanted something, but seeing as you keep mentioning it, I’m after spending all my money on booz…. books, so maybe I could do with an extra few bob after all.”

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5. “Thank you so much, you’re a lifesaver. Right, I can’t talk, I’m off to hit the booze, I mean books again (why do you keep doing that?!) Bye now!”

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At once, all seems right with the world again. You turn your phone off, not quite emotionally stable enough to check your social media from last night yet, and snuggle back into bed.

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– Jordan Lynch

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