College Expectations vs. Reality

A short compilation of my first three months at the University of Iowa.

Iowa in the fall is magical. The highlight of my days are walking to class. I put my headphones in, play some nice music and take my time walking. I take in the beauty of campus every day. The warm sun shining despite the cold wind. The birds flying above. The falling leaves. The warm colored trees. The river and how it looks like it might flood when it rains a bit too much. The constant faces that pass me by. The cambuses. The students on their scooters. The beautiful buildings. This campus is magical.

Prior to coming to college I had so many fears and expectations, but looking back on them now makes them seem so silly and petty. Here’s a list of my expectations vs. how they actually played out.


Expectations VS. Reality

#1. I won’t have any friends.

This is just silly. First of all, you will probably live with a roommate once you get to college. This means that you are already forced to have at least one familiar face on campus. Also, at Iowa you will have many occasions to make friends before your first day of class. Such as: Orientation and Iowa Edge. If you come to orientation, which is a requirement, you will be placed into small groups and in these small groups you will have to interact, therefore that is a solid opportunity to meet people and make friends. This is how I made two of my first Iowan friends: Toby and Laura. Another chance I had to make friends before school started was by joining Iowa Edge, a program for minority students. Here is where I made my friend group. I met soooo many good people through Edge. I am so grateful to have participated in it. Definitely look into it if you are a minority student!

#2. I will get lost.

Tip: Go to your classes before the semester starts. Also, you will get lost. It happens. Once you do, just ask someone for help. It’s not that bad. Also, before the semester started I added all the locations where my classes are into “Favorites” on my Maps application so that I could have easy access to them when I was walking to class to avoid getting lost. Life saving!

#3. I’m going to fail sooo many tests.

So far. So good. *knock on wood* But I mean, I’m definitely not acing everything, so that’s different from high school. Just make sure to put a good amount of work. Study every day. Go to office hours. You’ll be fine.

#4. What if my roommate and I hate each other?

You won’t. Well, at least my roommate and I don’t… yet. Kidding. Hopefully. Anyways, if you end up disliking your roommate, all you have to do is request a room switch and BOOM. Solved. That’s what’s so easy about life; everything has a solution.

#5. I’m going to get the Freshman 15.

Can’t give you a definite answer on that yet because so far I’m 4 pounds in. Yikes! But I’ve been hitting the Rec and let’s just say it’s not helping, one, because I am not motivated enough to have a solid routine that I never skip and two, because the food here is kinda, sorta, high key, really good. So…. yeah. I’m screwed. The Street Hawk food truck is delicious. The River Room cafe stir fry is life. The fact that Flex Meals have the option to come with Oreos kills me. Basically, my will to be healthy just isn’t strong enough. I always, always give in to junk food. Sigh. 

On a good note, as I mentioned before, the cool thing about life is that the majority of things have solutions. No friends? Sign up for clubs. Say hi. Step out of your comfort zone. Keep your dorm room open. Got lost? Ok. Ask someone for help. Pull up Google Maps. Figure it out yourself. Failed a test? That’s cool. Everyone fails every once in a while. Just study more for the next one. Go to office hours. It’s all going to be fine, it’s not the end of the world. We’re all in it together. Dislike your roommate? Request a roommate change. Gained weight? No problem, just go to the gym.

Life is soooo easy, everything has a solution. So don’t fret the small stuff, you’ll be fine. College is amazing. It’s an experience that many can’t have, so enjoy it. You’ll be scared coming in as a freshman, but once you’re here you’ll never want it to be over. Right now it makes me kind of sad to think that next year many of my friends won’t be within walking distance from me since they will all be living in apartments or way farther away. So once you’re here, soak it all in. Enjoy your roommate. Enjoy how just upstairs are some of your closest friends and down the block in the next residence hall are more friends. Enjoy the fact that when you get to the dining hall many familiar faces are eating as well and serving you food. Enjoy it all. It will fly by. Freshman year is possibly the best year because your whole entire grade is taking over the residence halls, so take advantage of it.

Thinking about how first semester is almost over makes me really sad. It really, really flew by. I love Iowa. I love my Iowan people. I love my friends here. I love everyone. So far, so good. I’m loving it. Life is good. Life is so good out here in the Midwest.

Until next time! 🙂

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