What's College Life Really Like?

Students Taking SelfieAs a prospective college student, you probably want to know what to expect from the college experience before you set foot on campus. Even if you’ve prepared yourself as much as possible, you might be feeling anxious or maybe even worried about attending college. Will it really be like how it’s portrayed in the movies? Will it be more like what your family or friends experienced? Or will it be something entirely different?

College is a lot of things: fun, memorable, life-changing, nerve-wracking, and even stressful at times. While everyone’s experience will vary, there are some aspects that will ring true for just about everyone. Here are 8 universal truths about what college life is really like:

It Becomes a Home Away from Home

It often doesn’t take very long before your new residence on campus starts feeling like a home away from home. You’ll start settling into a new routine, adjusting to your new surroundings, and making new friends as you become more immersed in your life as a college student. Even though you may experience a bit of homesickness from time to time, you’ll discover that you can find support from your new friends, your roommate, or even your RA. Don’t forget to take advantage of all the fun on-campus events throughout the school year! They, too, can help college really feel like home.

It’s Less Structured But Not as Scary as You Might Think

You might be used to your structured high school days and are wondering if college might be the same, but with more papers to write. To be honest, it’s quite the opposite! You get to choose which classes you want to take (and when), how you want to spend your spare time, and when you want to study and hang out with friends. The key to juggling all of your responsibilities successfully boils down to one thing: time management. How you spend your time in college is completely up to you, and the possibilities are virtually endless.

And yes, it’s so much better than high school!

Professor in Classroom
Your Professors Are Here to Help

Look, after watching Legally Blonde for the millionth time, we’d be a little intimidated by our professors, too. But we promise, professors are nothing like how they’re portrayed in the movies. They are understanding, passionate educators who enjoy helping students succeed and understand their subject matter. If you’re struggling with a concept or assignment, they would be more than willing to help you during their office hours, via email, or in class. They are here to help you become the most successful Bearcat you can be!

You’ll Meet All Sorts of Amazing People

One of the absolute best things about college life is all of the amazing people you get to meet. Even better than that – you will definitely find like-minded people who share the same passions as you! While you can pal around with people you have so much in common with, we advise getting out of your comfort zone and meeting people from all walks of life as well. You’ll meet them in your classes, on the Quad, in Ames Dining Hall or the 1828 Café, or in your dorm. Here’s an easy-peasy pro-tip from us when it comes to making friends: leave your door open, both literally and figuratively. Don’t hole up in your room! Introduce yourself, invite your hallmates over to study or hang out, or sit with a different group of people at lunch. Who knows? You could be meeting your future best friends!

Don’t Be Surprised if You Experience the First Semester Blues

Adjusting to college life takes time. You may begin to feel overwhelmed by your new life and feel a little homesick. Don’t be down on yourself if you start to feel this way in the beginning. To help you combat and beat the first semester blues, turn to your friends or even on-campus counseling services. There will always be someone there to help and listen to you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help! In the meantime, you can ease your homesickness by immersing yourself in campus activities, volunteering, sticking to an established routine, bringing pieces of home with you to your dorm, and, of course, staying in touch with your friends and family back home. Remember: this, too, shall pass.

You’ll Discover Passions You Never Even Knew You Had

Who knew you’d ever get into the elegant cosmos of outer space? Or Alfred, Lord Tennyson? Or archery? Or establishing homeostasis in chemical equations? When you attend college, you get the opportunity to take countless intriguing classes in a variety of subjects. Take some that interest you; you might wind up falling in love with a new subject or even discovering an all-new calling in your life!

You Might Not Know Exactly What You Want to Do After College – and That’s Okay!

If you aren’t sure of what you want to do for the rest of your life before you set foot on campus, don’t sweat it. Not many college students have a hard and fast idea of what they want to do! In fact, at least 80% of students wind up changing their major at least once throughout their college career. Being involved in various activities and taking multiple introductory courses can shine a light on where your true passions lie. Your life in college is a journey, and it’s more than okay to find out what you might want to do along the way!

It Truly Is What You Make of It

No two college students’ experiences are completely alike. You can make it as enriching, worthwhile, and unforgettable as possible by taking classes that interest you, joining a variety of clubs and organizations, attending campus events, making new friends, and broadening your horizons at any given opportunity. You’re in charge here – you determine when you sleep, what you’ll eat, when you’ll study, and which degree you’ll earn. In the end, it’s all up to you, so make your time as a college student count!

If you’re searching for an outstanding university that boasts a small student-to-teacher ratio, provides plenty of in-demand degrees to choose from, and has knowledgeable and caring professors who make it their mission to see you succeed, look no further than McKendree University! Learn more about how to apply by visiting our Admission page or by calling 1-800-BEARCAT.