The College Experience: Expectation vs My Reality

The College Experience: Expectation vs My Reality

Hope Kamanga, Student Reporter

What a person expects college to be like versus what college is really like can end up being quite different. For me, it was definitely an eye opening experience. As I move toward my own graduation from community college, I’d like to take a moment to discuss how Allen County Community College changed my expectations of college.

I arrived as a student at Allen Community College in the spring semester of 2021 on a track and field scholarship. During the time of my arrival, Covid-19 restrictions were slowly fading away, but I was still required to wear masks to class. From my understanding of the college environment, I expected college to be fast paced and tons of people in classes, but the community college surprised me by providing slow paced, small classes and less people.

Coming to Allen as an athlete, I expected to easily flow into the schedule of being a student athlete but that wasn’t the case. The incorrect expectation was a reality check of how to deal with time management as a student athlete. It definitely taught me how to be more disciplined and how to set my priorities in order to be able to set myself up for success.

The atmosphere of Allen was very inviting, and it allowed me to feel comfortable quickly. I expected the classes to be fast paced but the curriculum of taking general courses in a small class setting helped to have quick access to tutoring, one and one with teachers, and advising. It also allowed me to be able to be an athlete at a school that is majority athletes, as the teachers are very understanding with the schedule and setting up more time to complete assignments.

Moving away from home my expectation was that I’d be gaining more independence and having more freedom. However, the reality is that transitioning and learning how to take on more responsibility that wasn’t on your mind before can take time.

My previous expectation of having roommates was that it would be cool to get to know people, and I didn’t go into it with a negative perspective. However, the reality was that a person will meet all kinds of roommates throughout their college life, and it can be people who become the best of friends and people who teach us how to navigate differences and live with them as well. Both of these realities is a great experience because it allows us to grow as a person and learn through friendships and living with others. Through these experiences, we learn how to communicate well and become able to sort through new experiences together.

My expectation on maturity in college was everyone will be so much more mature than they were in high school but that is definitely not the case. The reality is that a one-year difference between high school and college will not change the difference between a person’s maturity level, but as time goes on, a person will learn through their mistakes and grow to be more mature in the future.

I really am glad that I took the community college route to gain this experience to prepare me on what the expectation vs reality is for college and to gain new skills as I move forward onto my college career path.