Disclaimer: This article has a confusion rate of 100 WTFs/paragraph. Please proceed at your own risk.
I just started university. I was very excited and hyped up before it had started and I also wrote about the struggles of getting into one. Now that I am in one, things have…changed. There are so many things that are new to me and if I’d known about these beforehand, I might’ve prepared myself better. I don’t even have the energy to rant about this and I have an 8:30 a.m. class tomorrow morning (massive FML) but let’s just dive into it.
1. You won’t have time for yourself.
Okay, so some people might disagree and say that there is free time if you do your assignments on time. To them, I say, “We don’t do that here”. See, here is the thing: even if you do manage to get an hour or two free, your mind is in this constant storm of thoughts. You’re either figuring out when and where your next class is, or what assignments you have pending, or who you need to meet up with for a project, blah blah blah. It’s just too much.
2. “Freedom” is just a polite way of saying “more responsibilities”.
Ever since I was a kid, I used to look up at adults as these great beings who had complete control over what they did and were a master of life. HAHAHA joke’s on you kid. The whole “grownups have more freedom” thing is a scam. It’s a heavily sugar-coated statement that I was taught as a kid. There is no freedom. It’s just more responsibilities. Like, what do you mean “You have to go to each class yourself”? What happened to teachers coming to your class?
Wish we could turn back time…*breaks into song*
3. Skipping classes only happens in movies.
We’ve all seen those cliche college romance movies. It’s like those kids party all the time and skip classes and do crazy stuff. Well…it’s a lot tamer in reality. It’s not that you don’t wanna skip classes, it’s just that you can’t. Why? Because of the minimum attendance required which is like 85% where I study. Which means I can’t skip more than 3 classes per semester.
4. People don’t really care.
The thing with a university is that everyone is too busy in their own lives to notice other people. So if you’re really conscious about your wardrobe or how you look, no one really cares that much. You can show up with an old saggy hoodie and bathroom slippers on and literally, no one will bat an eye.
5. A pillow and a blanket go a long way.
When I started my classes, my seniors told me to keep a pillow and a little blanket in my locker all the time. I took that as a joke. Turns out, they weren’t kidding. The amount of sleep you DON’T get is like a lot. So whenever you get some time off, you sleep. And what better things to complement a nap than a pillow and a blanket? You can sleep anywhere…quite literally.
6. You’ll have no idea about what’s going on
This may sound like an exaggeration but I’m not even kidding – I have no idea what the lecturer is talking about half the time. Even outside of class, there are times when you feel lost – like what am I doing? I have an assignment due in three minutes and I’m singing Nach Punjaban to pigeons while eating fries. And that’s okay. Because you’re not alone. Others are just as lost. So, like, everyone is in the same phase.
7. Time won’t always be in your favor.
So, in college, you had a schedule and everyone followed that schedule. It was the same for everyone in your class and so everyone was busy together or free together. But here, shit gets weird. Everyone has a different schedule. Which means classes at odd timings. And getting your friends together for a meet up is difficult. Also if there’s an event on campus that you want to attend, chances are your class timings might clash with the event’s timings. So you’ll end up having to choose between the two. Of course, you make the wiser choice and skip the class.
8. You don’t have to raise your hand every time you need to go to the bathroom.
This one comes from experience. In school, you were always taught to ask the teacher for permission before you left the class for any reason. It doesn’t really work that way here. You SHOULD do that because we’re civilized people but the unofficial rules of the class overpower common sense here. So…just leave the room and people will understand. Don’t…raise your hand and ask for permission…like a kid…like me.
9. You’re in a constant state of doing “something”.
It’s very “happening”. There is always something going on. You’re never really free. You’re either in class, or with some faculty member, or with friends, or doing your own studying. But you’re never free. Some people find this very exciting (in the beginning), others immediately find this very annoying. It’s like your brain is constantly overloaded.
10. The best-looking place on campus might not have the best food.
I guess this is true for basically all educational institutes – the better looking, well-maintained cafes usually don’t have the best-tasting food. It’s always that little stall or dhaba, across the road or in the far corner of the campus that has those delicious parathas that make you forget about your diet completely. Khaon ga nahi tou bara kaisay hoon ga?
11. Give people a chance.
Ever since I started applying for universities, all my seniors told me about “sneks” – the people that you never trust and, according to them, that’s basically everyone. I adhered to this and kept to myself in the beginning. But as time passed, I realized that isolating myself because of a few people and, consequently, missing out on the good fun with new people was just stupid. So I started talking to more people and found them equally nervous and scared. We’re all pretty similar, we just need to focus on the similarities more and on the differences less. Give everyone a chance.
So, these were a few things I wish I knew before joining and starting university life. And now that I’ve passed the scroll of wisdom on to you, it’s your job to maintain it and add to it. Let me know in the comments if you have anything to add to this!
Cover image via The Vision Factory Films