Woot woot! It’s your final year of high school, and you’re excited to escape the confines of that colourful school yard and enter the next awesomesauce phase of your life–college. You’ve probably asked your seniors about Insert College Here and what life is like post-uniforms, but is the reality as rosy as it appears to be?
Well, it’s okay. But just to clear the air, here’s what college is really like:
You’re always running low on cash.
Money plays an important role in our lives. Yes, yes, we all know that. Guess what? That role money plays? It’s about to get bigger.
When you enter college, the torrent of expenses come flooding in as well. The eateries near your college are super expensive, basement parking can easily cost ten ringgit per day (especially if you have a 8am class), and that petrol meter just keeps on sinking.
Before this, you probably got a nice little allowance from your folks. Now, you’re a little too old to ask for pocket money, so whenever you have to sheepishly approach your dad in his armchair in the evening, you feel really bad about it.
The solution to this is to go full-on cheapskate MacGyver mode. You will eventually know the difference between buying 100 Plus at Cold Storage and buying 100 Plus at 7-11 (or simply drinking plain water every meal)
You either become one of the two extremes–really sociable or a hermit crab
College is another form of puberty…but for your social skills. When high school ends, you’re given the opportunity to craft a new persona for yourself. It’s a new beginning! You can be whoever you wanna be.
So you start out the year super enthusiastic–you’re determined to be a capital-S Someone. So you head out to your nearest mall and get yourself a spanking new wardrobe, a super cool haircut and a really nice set of stationery to boot your new, hip image. It’s your time to shine now! Nevermind that you were a nobody in high school, that’s in the past. That you is so lame.
Usually, this can go either one of two ways:
1. Your plan worked! You’re in with the cool kids (take that, Echosmith!), in every possible cool kid club (usually student council *coughs*), and everyone who’s anyone knows your name. Yay!2. Plan backfires. You realize that popularity is really overrated, and that 60% of the student body consists of people who don’t really care about you (or, you know, getting an education). Life sucks. You hiss at the sight of human presence and focus on other things in life.
You realize book smarts are only 50% important
You spent your entire life getting that straight-A report card, but you quickly realize that the result slip is–after all– just a piece of paper with a bunch of numbers on it.
College requires you to be more than just a really brainy student; you need to be the following things as well: charismatic (for the many, many, MANY presentations and networking situations that you will be encountering) and time management savvy (remember that rule? Social life, Sleep, Academics. Pick two.).
Imagine doing all that while balancing assignments, deadlines and everything else that comes with being a college student. Forget sleep! Sleep is for the weak! Real college students pull all-nighters the night before submission day. (Jk guys, please don’t do that).
Point is, being smart is only half of it; the real challenge is the entire balancing act.
You realize that driving doesn’t feel that cool anymore
We all spent our final days in high school lamenting how our lives would be like once we started driving. We all wanted to be the super cool kid who drove their parents’ car to school on Monday mornings.
The glamour dies off really fast. Maybe it’s your campus’ really shitty parking. Maybe it’s getting stuck in the rush hour every day. Maybe it’s because everyone drives like a douchebag, but what once used to be something you felt really ‘yeng’ while doing is now something you really dread. It’s kinda like having to do the laundry; you’re too lazy to do it, but you have to do it because it’s necessary.
Meanwhile, everyone needs to start using the signal, dang it!
You’re not ready to be an adult
A year ago, you were playing volleyball in a school courtyard, ponteng-ing classes and eating canteen food. It has never crossed your mind before you left high school, but you actually kinda miss the simplicity of those days.
So it’s pre-u now, then degree. In another four years or so, you’ll be leaving college and stepping out into the real world! Dun dun dunnnnnn. It’s all moving too fast! You’re so not ready for real-adult problems. I mean, for God’s sake, you were asking permission to go to the toilet just half a year ago!
Mark my words though, your parents might be nagging you about your grades now, but there will come a day where they’ll be nagging you about bringing someone home and getting married.
There are a number of things in your life that will drastically change when you move on to this major stepping stone, but what you need to always keep in mind is that sometimes change can be for the better, and no matter what happens, look forward to it with a open heart and you’ll be a-okay. 🙂
What are some changes that you experienced in your life when you went to college? Share it with us in the comments below!
Written by: Peh Xin Ying