Originally I was planning on posting this tomorrow and posting my August book haul today. But I procrastinated going through my books and figuring out which had been bought in August and then wasn’t home with my books available to go through, so I decided to just switch around these posts. 🙂 So today I bring you unrealistic expectations and tomorrow you should get an August book haul post!
With school starting back up for a lot of people around this time, I thought it’d be fun to do a school-themed post. And since I’m in college, I wanted to do one that involved college.
Obviously, I read a lot of YA books and a lot of YA protagonists are in high school. So, naturally, college comes up in a lot of YA books, especially contemporaries. However, college doesn’t always come up very accurately. What expectations did YA books give me that ended up being wrong? (Not all of these are specific to college, as you’ll see, but most of them are.)
I’d Have Time to Socialize, Work, and Do Homework
Realistically, I do all of these things. But definitely not in the proportions I see in YA. Protagonists are almost always socializing or spending their time doing… nothing? Rarely are they seen working and possibly even more rarely, they’re seen doing homework. In reality, 99% of my time is spent doing homework. And more of my time is spent working than socializing. I have to force myself to socialize because otherwise, I just neglect my social life in order to do other things. If I went into college with no background info other than what I’d read in books, I would not have expected balancing all three of these things to be so difficult.
You’ll Meet Your Best Friend and Significant Other in a Matter of Days
You may end up meeting friends quickly, but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll meet someone that you want to date so soon. In fact, I’m going into my 4th year of college and I still haven’t met anyone worth dating. But protagonists always seem to meet their soulmate on the first day of classes…
You’ll Be Best Friends with Your Roommate
You might end up being really close with your roommate. You might end up feeling indifferent towards them. Or you might hate them. Not to scare anyone entering their first year at college, but I’ve never gotten along with my roommates… That’s why I now pay for my own dorm room. 😛 So while some people may become best friends with their roommates, it’s not a universal experience.
It’s Really Easy to Get into a Great School
Let’s face it: almost every YA protagonist who we see go to college ends up going to a school that’s either fictional or a very prestigious, competitive school. Yale, Harvard, etc. Yet these characters are never seen doing homework (how good can your grades be if you don’t do homework?) and aren’t involved in extracurriculars. So how exactly are they getting into these schools? One of the mysteries of fiction, I guess.
I could probably keep going and going with these. YA books (and NA) tend to set a lot of false expectations about high school and college.