Before i started, i had a few assumptions/expectations about college life...
- There would be a lot of parties.
- I would continue to find my studies as easy as High School made them out to be.
- I'd find and fit into a new group of friends.
- I would keep up to date with all revision, tests and homework assignments.
- That i would stay close with my High School friends.
Let me tell you now... none of this came true
Now i can't speak for everybody, but for me, college was a very challenging experience. To go from being one of the High Achievers in High School, to barely maintaining an average grade higher than a D was a bit of a shock to the system! On top of that, as our local college is deemed to be inferior to many other colleges by my parents, I was sent to a college not only further away, but on my own too. leaving all my friends and boyfriend behind.
About my college experience:
After the induction period had finished, I struggled to keep on top of work and the high intensity of lessons overpowered me and i was left feeling worthless and quite frankly down right stupid. Everyone else seemed to be coping just fine and i was left dragging behind.
I kept quiet from my parents how much i was struggling as i didn't want them to get involved. i was scared that they'd think the reason i was doing so badly was down to not putting in enough effort. This was a really bad idea as it just kept building and building until eventually i ended up in a really bad place.
My mum helped me a lot and spoke to the college. They offered me time to speak with college councillors and see if that helped. It didn't. They gave me the option of dropping out of the year and starting fresh the next year, but i turned that offer down (I was already hating college more than i ever thought was possible and exams were getting close so there was no point enduring an extra year than what's necessary!) so I ended up having intensive revision sessions will all my tutors, trying to pull me back up to where i was supposed to be (I also started baking a bit more and went to a little class in my town, it really helped me relax and de-stress)
Exam season came and went and i came out with acceptable grades (not the greatest of results but a lot better than i'd thought!)
Nearly everyone i spoke to after my first year told me that the second year is better and it all sinks in and fits together perfectly and becomes ten times easier and so on and so on.
It was true to an extent, i did feel better. I felt like the things i struggled with the year before now seemed to be coming as a second nature, but it was still incredibly difficult.
I don't think anything can prepare you for the jump from High School to College. It is very underated!
One of the things that has stuck with me from speaking to my tutors is this:
College is the hardest step. Nothing in the rest of your time in education will ever be as challenging or demanding as college. Once this is done, you'll be able to deal with anything you're asked to do. This is preparation for the real world.
I really hope she's right!
I'm going to finish with my tips on surviving college with your sanity intact!:
- People change, it's okay to grow out of friendships.
- Don't try to be someone you're not to try and fit in. If they're your friends, they'll love you as you are.
- START REVISING EARLY... I can't stress this enough.
- If you're struggling with anything, tell someone. It can change the outcome of your life.
- Get involved with things and projects to help others (i ended up painting a school in Africa!).
- Don't forget to do things you enjoy in-between studying.
- It's not the end of the world, there are always other options if college isn't your thing.
Thankyou for reading and i hope you can gain something useful from my experience.