8 Dirty Secrets of College Life
College is a wonderful experience. I’m sure you’ve watched enough commencement speeches which reiterate the same thing, gloss over all the hardships, and tell you that your degree is going to win you your dream job. Well, guess what? There are a dozen more ritualistic steps before you get that degree and just to sour things a little bit more, the degree doesn’t quite always assure you a job. Take it from a law student.
Here are eight dirty secrets of college life that no one talks about.
Competition is terrible in college. Whether or not you realize it, you’re competing against everyone including your friends. Whether it’s for a placement, or for a position in a committee, or even something as basic as grades, there is always a debilitating, mind-numbing, fierce competition innate to college life.
2. Peer Pressure
College peer pressure is a little different from school life where your peers would at the most make you smoke a cigarette or glug down a Corona. At least in school, you wanted to smoke that cigarette and glug down the Corona. In college, peers will push you into doing things you don’t even like doing. Like in a law school, they’ll make you do moots, write research papers, and participate in every competition that crops up to the point that you drive yourself insane trying to balance your life. You’ll know when this happens and that point, it’s helpful to prioritize your goals and decide how you’re willing to expend your time and energy.
3. Resume Building
I’m sure you’ve heard people say that college is the time you explore and do what you always wanted to do. To some extent, perhaps it’s true, but it’s also important that your exploration adds up to your resume otherwise you’ll be left with a tiny achievement section while your friends and foes have a ten page, colour coordinated CV. And guess who’s going to get recruited? The answer of course, is not you.
4. Piling Insecurities
Insecurities are a part of growing up but it becomes even more apparent as you reach college when you’re in that awkward stage in life and for some reason, everyone is better than you are. It can be anything, from something as mundane as your grades or something more serious like the way you look or sound. The best part about this is that everyone is insecure about something; some are just better at hiding than others.
5. Failing Mental Health
With all this competition, peer pressure, insecurities building up, it’s only natural to feel a little blue at times. You feel like you’re stuck in a rut, unable to move forward, unable to get things done, tired, worn out and that’s alright as long as you manage to get up and get back right to it. And if it’s very serious, call on the college counsellor for help.
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6. Connecting Beyond Facebook
Connections are important; they get you to places you didn’t even know was possible. Connections help make things a lot easier: it gets you notes, projects, internships, and sometimes, even helps you land a job. Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, things just don’t work out. And then your friend, who does nothing at all, gets everything done. Why? Because said friend had managed to create a network of people who help him when he needs help. It takes time and effort but is well worth the benefits.
7. The Expensive Expenses
A college education is expensive, and if you’re going to college outside of your home town, then there are other expenses: accommodations, books, groceries, bills, particularly phone bills, transport, you get the idea. Living in a hostel, I end up spending almost the equivalent amount to someone who is putting up in an apartment. So the takeaway is that college life is very expensive, does not always assure you a job and you wait in dread for your parents to call you every week to blast you for spending so much money.
8. Non-existent Social Life
Alright, this is subjective. I know of friends who party all night and attend classes the next day. They have a nice social life to speak of. I, on the other hand, enrolled in a law school head to the library at 9 pm when I should've been heading to the closest bar. Life can be unfair sometimes, college even more.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Priya Barua