Rumor has it that college will be the best time of our young lives, so much so that it’ll get us the all-in fun and freedom we've always longed for. You probably have heard that countless of times, and I can attest that the “fun” part wasn’t a lie: there’s a new environment, new set of friends, the org thrills, and the living-on-your-own deal for the dorm squad.
The “freedom” thing was as real as it could get, too: no more fixed TV-study schedule, no more confiscated phones on exam week– yes, I had that moment–and no more holding back on what you want to do with your life. Does that make you giddy to taste the good of college?
It did to me, but not until I was actually in college and realized that they weren’t completely being honest with us by hiding its ugly truth. Trust me when I say that the experience wasn’t that smooth and full of fun. There were other things that will pop along the way that you couldn’t be prepared for no matter how much you research about it. Not to spoil your excitement but just to save you from the shock, here are the struggles I never knew I’d face in college that you should look out for, too:
1. "Saan kakain?"
No matter how many food choices surround the university, the dilemma of finding that one that'll suit your taste and most importantly, your student budget. You can crave for katsudon or shawarma all you want but you'll have to consider saving for your transpo and book-heavy photocopied materials. Well, you might as well resort to our BFF meal: siomai.
2. Braving the flood
You know how they say that your college experience won't be complete without the floods getting you stranded in school? How I wish that it wasn't true. But that's a natural phenomenon you can't get away from. It will all comes down to you saying a little prayer for early suspension as soon as you see a rain drop. Umbrellas and slippers will be your top essentials during the rainy season, for sure!
3. "Saan tatambay?"
When I was in high school, I dreaded the limited one-hour lunch break that I used to spend on paper works and rushed eating. It's the opposite in college where the "what to do in a 3-hour or more vacant time?" problem lies. You can consider the nearest mall or Starbucks if your allowance allows, or getting a dorm (which worked for me) Just don't let the temptation to sleep win you over.
4. The worst case of stomach pain
The struggle is real in holding in the sudden diarrhea in public places, what more when you're in class or in the middle of taking a test? You wouldn't want to think about that but you must because it can't be helped. Let's face it, not every campus toilet is clean, has bidet, and has a working flush. The biggest concern: finding an empty restroom where you can let loose in peace. You wouldn't want to be obvious, would you?
5. Getting a passing grade
Just when I thought I had it all figured out in high school—that full comprehension of topics and late-night studying are enough to pass a subject—college happened and proved me wrong. Suddenly, topping the class is the least of your priorities and getting a passing mark will mean celebration because you won't have to take summer classes. In college, a 75 is as good as it can get.
Simply put, it would take a lot of patience and drive to survive college. Take this as my advice for you upcoming freshies to gear up more than you thought you need to. But don't take it the wrong way—the experience can vary from one student to another. Though mine wasn't as smooth as I hoped it would, I can say that it was totally worth it.
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