I Believe I Don’t Belong in College

Lauren - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on September 18, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change
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Growing up, I was an only child who insisted on having things my way. My parents marveled about how I argue my way out of any punishment or twist their words around to make a point. They told me that I was sure to be a lawyer one day. Now, being only a child, I didn’t exactly know what a lawyer was. My parents provided my limited knowledge of the profession, telling me that lawyers get to argue all day long and make lots of money. Needless to say, I was impressed.

As the years progressed, I maintained the belief that I would be a lawyer. However, when my senior year finally came and it was time to start making decisions about college, I was in for disappointment. Not only did my parents refuse to pay for law school, but I also realized exactly how many people had the exact same dream as me, and I regretfully had to change my mind about my childhood goal.

Now that I’ve started college, my beliefs have changed radically. I can barely think about how I once dreamed of a profession that would require endless hours of meticulous study. Instead, I now believe I wasn’t meant for college at all. I know this sounds really stupid, considering the fact I’m writing it for a college class, but at least for the time being, I don’t feel like I belong here.

When the first of my friends started going to college three years ago, all they told me that college was nothing but “fun.” No one mentioned the insane amount of reading we’d have to do per night, the pop quizzes the professors would insist on giving us, and how hard it would be to meet new people. I never thought I’d have to deal with such a random schedule: I mean, my earliest class begins at 9:30 in the morning and my latest class ends at 7:45 at night. I didn’t take into account how easily distracted I would be living in the dorms, especially when my friends from across the hall would come knocking on my door at midnight, asking if I wanted to play Yahtzee. The sad thing is, I read all of the books about college adjustment, and I still feel like there were hundreds of things I didn’t know before I showed up here.

I feel totally and completely unprepared when it comes to college work, too. In high school, I never really struggled in my classes, but now that I’m in college, I find it increasingly hard to stay on top of work. Even though I took AP classes, it still feels like the workload here is way more extreme than what my AP’s were like. I mean, there is a major difference between reading 50 pages in a literature book and reading 50 pages on the theories of political scientists in a college textbook.

Altogether, I feel unprepared for pretty much everything in college. The parties, the work, and the social atmosphere are completely different from everything I’m used to, and I maybe it’s just that I’m not interested in the stereotypical ‘college’ activities, but I just don’t feel like I belong in college.