What is College REALLY like?

College is a time of independence, fun, and education. While each experience will be different for everyone, the basics of college are usually more or less the same.

When considering going to college, it is important you know what it is like to attend a university. This will allow you to understand what you want out of your college experience and help you choose what schools are right for you to apply to.

Here are some of the basic information and things you can expect:

Responsibility & Independence

For most young adults, college will be the first time they will live away from their parents.

This means they are completely in charge of making decisions but can also mean it is the first time they will need to cook for themselves, clean for themselves, and do their own laundry.

It also means there is no one there watching out for them and ensuring all their tasks get done.

For some, the responsibility and independence can be overwhelming.

When attending a university, you need to know how to manage your time, prioritize your commitments, and reach success on your own. The independence can lead some individuals to completely disregard their commitments and responsibilities, causing them to fail out of their classes.

It is important to remain focused on the reason you are in school in the first place.


Your classes will be one of the largest components of your experience. In most cases, what your classes look like depends on the program you are in and the size of your school.

For large schools, you may be in a lecture with hundreds of students. In these class situations, the professor probably won’t know your name, you will be graded only on tests, and you will be completely responsible for ensuring you know the information.

For more specific programs or smaller universities, your classes may look much like high school. You can develop close relationships with your professors and your classmates, you may have more assignments and projects that will contribute to your grades, and you can find additional support for things you may not understand.

Course Load

In most cases, college is much more demanding than most students experienced in high school. Rather than having tests on one chapter at a time, you may be tested on months’ worth of material or even only have a final exam that covers everything you learned that semester.

You will also find that most professors are much less lenient when it comes to late or incomplete work. While you may have been able to slide by doing the bare minimum in high school, your professors won’t feel as compelled to pass you. You will need to work hard for your grades.

Friends and Clubs

There are many places to make friends. Sometimes it can even be a bit overwhelming.

If you are living in student housing, you’ll have access to the individuals that live on your floor or in your buildingThese can be great sources of friendship during the early days of school.

There are also dozens of clubs that you can get involved in and meet people with similar interests as you. From social fraternities and sororities to academic-focused groups, there is something for everyone.

It is best advised to get involved in a few different organizations to make many different groups of friends.

The New World

College is a completely different world for those that attend. If you’re looking to apply to some school, think about the experience that you want. There is a school out there for everyone.


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