What I Didn’t Expect About College (And Why You Can’t Expect It Either)

By Sam Flynn on October 8, 2012

Now, blessed with perspective as a returning college student, I can see where I went wrong. It’s so clear to me now in retrospect. The most galling thing about it too isn’t even that is simple and obvious. It’s that it was repeated to you billions of times before you went to school and I STILL didn’t listen. I thought, like every prospective college student ever, that I was smarter. Nope. Turns out I am dumb. Really dumb. Horrendously, hilariously dumb. I don’t think I’ve hammered home quite how dumb I am yet so let me say this: Mitt Romney’s got nothing on me. The problem can be summarized thusly:

From flikr, by Hendrix College

I am not your average college student.

Now listen closely: yes, you are. You are exactly like the thousands of kids in your class and the millions who preceded you. Nothing can change that. Nothing can change that you’re a freshman without the benefit of knowledge, networking, or experience. Pretending otherwise is a recipe for antagonism from all upperclassmen. It’s much sexier to just own it! Be the stupid funny freshman who doesn’t know anything. People like them. They keep them around for amusement. And guess what? In a year or two, you inherit their position of professional dick. But guys, remember: people don’t like the person who thinks he or she owns the joint and they will go out of their way to snap you back to reality.

That’s a speech I wished I’d had prior, though given my history I probably would not have listened anyway. Still, a heads up would have been nice. People forget there is not one world; there are two: the one outside your head and the one inside. And I think it’s safe to say that most if not all college freshmen make the mistake of forgetting that. If there was one thing I did not expect in college, it was to fall for the trap that I had been warned about and nauseum prior.

Its funny watching this happen, as I’m sure most upperclassmen would agree. Not only because you relate (though you, like me, would never admit openly (ignore the fact that I am publishing this story for the world to see (also ignore my obnoxious overuse of parenthesis))) but also because it’s like watching a train wreck. You can’t stop it. And some dark part of you wants to see it happen and the following crash and burn. Nothing like a spectacular catastrophe to put our problems in perspective after all.

That’s why “my freshman year was my favorite year!” is something you’ve heard zero times. Mother Teresa killed more people than have ever said they liked their freshman year best. Sadly, this is not something that can be understood intellectually. It is something that comes only with perspective and experience. Potential freshmen, you have my eternal sympathy. All I have to you in the future say is this:

It’s your problem now, bitches!

By Sam Flynn

Uloop Writer
It takes a real asshole to sum themselves up in a few words. So I will. I am a sophomore journalism student at Ohio University with a minor in creative writing. I am copy editor at the InterActivist magazine, secretary for Theta Chi fraternity, and columnist for Rascal magazine. I love books, film, tattoos, MMA, motorcycles, rapping, and blazers. My idols are George Carlin, Kevin Smith, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, and Hunter S. Thompson. I am also now officially an asshole. Cheers!

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