It’s hard to define what ‘college’ really means. There are so many dreams, yours as well as your folks’, connected with the idea of college. You wait in excitement for your life to change. And change, it does; sometimes, in ways you didn’t image.

They tell you college is important. They tell you college will shape your future. They tell you college is an unforgettable experience. True. But they never quite get to these things:

1. You’ll be forced to study subjects you don’t want to

You think you’ll never have to meet your most hated subjects from school, but there’s a chance they might be back to haunt you in college. Sure, you get to choose a course of your choice in college but there are always those compulsory subsidiary subjects that come with it.

2. Bunking classes is overrated

Of course it’s fun, especially the first few times you do it. It makes you feel like a rebel and that’s so cool. But after a point of time, when a short-attendance letter reaches your parents, it isn’t so cool anymore. And then begins the dreary business of getting fake medical certificates to make up for it.

3. At some point, you’ll be disillusioned

Everyone enters college with all the enthusiasm and stars in their eyes. But sooner or later, the melange of college politics, the education system, people with different world views and a change in interest, may leave one a little jaded. It’s very natural, and before long, we learn to get over it and move on.

4. Getting into a good college doesn’t necessarily make your future bright

A good college promises experiences teachers, a host of options for extra curricular activities and possibly a ‘cool crowd.’ It’ll send many opportunities knocking at your door. But it’s up to you alone to open the door and make good use of these.

5. You’ll always be broke

No matter how much pocket money you get, it’s never enough. But that’s a good thing, because it teaches you a lot, from valuing money to planning.

6. You won’t be scoring a 90% again

Even if you top, you’ll be somewhere in the 80s. But then, you’ll soon realize it’s not a big deal. In college, marks don’t matter as much as a lot of other things do.

7. You’ll miss out on a lot if you concentrate too hard on academics

We go to college to earn a degree, and also to make our parents happy. Of course assignments and exams are important, but the real essence of college life lies in being a part of college societies, taking part in extra curricular activities, building meaningful relationships and discovering yourself.

8. You’ll do many stupid things

From choosing the wrong course to taking panga with the wrong people, from creating drunken drama to bad relationships, you end up doing things you won’t be proud of.

9. There’s a lot more to learn outside the classroom

In college, you come across different kinds of people, from very different backgrounds. Some pleasant, and some not-so-pleasant, each has something to teach. Your experiences with each one of them shapes you into the person you become.

10. You may pass out of college without a job in hand

Many companies come for college placements. But not everyone gets placed. Many don’t even apply to these companies because their interests lie elsewhere; many decide to study further. Whatever the reason, not getting a job in college isn’t a proof of failure in any way.

Once you make it alive through college, you realize learning things the hard way isn’t so bad. And maybe, it was a good thing nobody told you the things nobody tells you about college. You got to find out for yourself, and in doing so, you found yourself.