Expectations, reality, and predictions for college

Alex Stayoch INTD 105

Final Self-Reflection Due 12/9/23

Introduction

As this semester is wrapping up (my first semester of college), I now know what I expected to happen this semester, what did happen, and more of what I can expect for the future. Over the semester I gained a lot of knowledge in this course, in other courses, and in college so far in general. Not just facts, but I also learned more about myself after spending time without the guidance of my family at every step of the way.

Expectations

When I came into college I expected that I would have a lot of work to do. In this class specifically, I expected to have a lot of writing to do, but that I would also develop writing skills and become a better writer. The social expectations that I had from college would be that there would be a lot of partying, new friends, and a lot of homesickness. But I was also worried that I would have trouble making new friends, because I haven’t really made many new friends on my own since elementary school. In high school, I had known my entire main friend group in elementary school, and the only way I met people was if one of my friends introduced me to them. I also was very intrigued to see how life with a roommate would be because I lived alone in a large room for the past 8 years and hadn’t lived with a roommate since my brother and I bunked together when I was 12 (and I really hated that at the time, although now I don’t think I would mind being a roommate with my brother).

Reality

As the semester went on, I came to realize that some assumptions I made were true and some were not. I have had a lot of work (much more than high school) but I also have much more time to get it done because I don’t spend 7 hours a day in school, I don’t spend 3 hours a day between sports games/practices/watching siblings play, and I don’t work for 4 hours a day. This class had a perfect amount of writing in my opinion, not enough to where I was overworked, but not too little to where I felt that there was so much time in between two writings that I would become rusty. I also felt that I became a better writer over the course of this class, not only because I take the they say into account, but when brainstorming for a writing I actually plan my thoughts out in a more organized way (I especially noticed this when planning out my “Bloodchild” rewrite) instead of just winging it as I usually would. In terms of partying I would say that it isn’t hard to party if you want, and I know people who do 2-3 times a week, but I personally think it’s nice to go to one every other week or so. I have made a lot of new friends so when there is nothing to do it is really easy for me to find something to do which also helps me from being alone. It’s not really that hard to find friends as a freshman, because everyone is looking for them. I also surprisingly didn’t get very homesick even though I have an amazing family, and some amazing friends back home. This is partly due to me keeping in touch with them via FaceTime or phone call, partly because I’m always busy here, and partly because my friends here are great.

Epigraph and more reality

As Gan says in “Bloodchild” by Octavia “If we’re not your animals, if these are adult things, accept the risk. There is risk, Gatoi, in dealing with a partner.” One large change in my life is that I now have a roommate, and there are risks and rewards of me having a roommate. In this case my partner is my roommate, and the risks are that I never really have any time alone to myself. Everyone likes to be alone sometimes, and with a roommate who is always in the room it is hard to find time alone. There are rewards though, and the reward is that I’m never alone. Not only is this a risk but it is also a reward, and having someone to be able to talk to at any moment is nice. Also one problem I had at home was that I would just lay in bed alone with my thoughts for hours instead of getting sleep. Now the faint sound of my roommates TikTok’s or Xbox controller provide a nice distraction from my own thoughts allowing me to sleep better (surprisingly). There are also risks and rewards of having a partner in this INTD 105 class. Frequently in this class we were paired with another classmate or multiple who are my “partner(s)” in this case, and asked to discuss something or write something together. A large risk in this is having a partner who does not contribute or talk and forces you to initiate all conversation or do most of the work. But rewards to this include better conversations/writings due to multiple brains being better than one, better understanding of your work due to the ability of one person to help another understand, and you could even build a friendship (or get to know someone better at least).

Future expectations

Based on my experiences over the first semester, I have a better idea of what my next 3 and a half years in college will look like. I expect things to be mostly the same as the first semester. I do see my workload increasing over the course of time, and maybe my friend group changes around. But for the most part I think I already have a good idea of what the rest of my college experience will look like (obviously I could easily be very wrong).

Wrap-up

Going into any situation in life, you are going to have expectations of what it is going to be like. College is no different. My expectations were right and wrong, but overall I think my experience has been good and better than I expected. I think I learned a lot in all my classes, and from the rest of my college experience. In this INTD 105 class specifically I think I got the most out of it that I personally could have, from learning, gaining a few small friendships, improving my writing, and thinking a bit differently about a few things (ie: ungrading). Just like how every situation has expectations, every situation in life helps you learn, grow, and can help you become prepared for future situations. My first semester has helped me know more about what is going on for the rest of college, and helped me know more about what may be going on after college.

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