College: Expectations vs. Reality

The number one thing I was told to focus on in college: TIME MANAGEMENT.

The number one thing that became irrelevant in college: MY SCHEDULE.

Manage your time wisely, they said. Buy a calendar, they said. Schedule in your study time vs friends time, they said.

I don’t know who “they” are, but they didn’t account for all the things that life randomly throws at you and how you have to be willing to throw your plans away sometimes. Especially in college, where the only structure in your life is the same class at the same time at the same place.

This is not meant to scare those who haven’t gotten to college yet, it’s just meant as a heads-up of sorts. It took me until the end of my Sophomore year to figure out that you just can’t live your life like you’re reading off a syllabus.

You’re going to have bad days and sick days and days where you just really really REALLY don’t want to go to class.

You’re going to have best friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, and group project members that are there one day and gone the next.

You’re going to have Christmas plans, spring break plans, summer plans, jobs and internships that fall through.

You’re going to switch majors, switch schools, switch churches, switch sports teams,

and that’s normal. THAT is expected.

You’re not actually expected to do the same thing every day. Your boss will probably have you on call, so you won’t even KNOW if you have work. Your teachers will probably cancel class 15 minutes before it starts, and you’ll have an hour or so to kill. Your friends will get into car accidents, get drunk, or go to the hospital and you’ll be there for them instead of following your schedule.

As it turns out, you really can’t plan for everything.

So don’t live like you can.

Have a schedule. Leave yourself time to study. But don’t be so focused on the structure of your day that you forget to look up.

College is supposed to be fun. It’s your first taste of adulthood. Yes, that means more responsibility, but it also means time to explore yourself. Take that time. Expect the unexpected. Discover yourself. Enjoy.

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