Unrealistic Expectations About College I Got From Books

college expectations blog graphic

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜› 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.

What are some ways that books depict school that you think are unrealistic?

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8 thoughts on “Unrealistic Expectations About College I Got From Books

  1. Time to do it all is definitely something we’ve been lying about! I’m going into my final year and I already know I’ll have to cut on so many things to make enough room to study. Studying takes 90% of your time, and as student, you struggle to fit everything else in those tiny 10%!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yesssss. Books make it look so easy and make it seem as if you’ll have all this free time, when in reality, I rarely have free time during the school year. You have to get really good at balancing and prioritizing things or else it falls apart haha


  2. Books definitely don’t portray university the way it really goes in life. I got pretty lucky with my university career – I got into my dream school, am still great friends with my first year roommate, and still dating the same guy I got together with in my first year, 5.5 years later. But it definitely wasn’t easy. I had time to work, socialize and do homework, but I was barely sleeping and always sick. My roommate and I definitely had our bad times, and so have my other half and I, and both of them got neglected on a regular basis for homework. I think you’ve got to just prioritize your university career, and hope that other people understand where you’re coming from.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. YES! Its all so true. I was lucky enough to meet a really good friend on the first day of class in my first year of university, but I wasn’t as luck with finding a boyfriend. Every time I try to date someone while I’m in school they just get angry with me and dump me because I put school/studying waaaay before them. They all think I’m ignoring them on purpose ๐Ÿ˜› Good luck in your fourth year ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • It can pretty easy to make friends if you know how to meet people, but I don’t know anyone who met their significant other really soon after getting to college. It’s really hard to find someone who understands that you need to put your studies before them/dating! Thank you Aneta!


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