If you’ve ever grumbled “I can’t wait to graduate and be done with all of this!” you’re not alone. College can be tough—most people don’t do research papers or study just for the fun of it. Even so, it’s easy to overlook a lot of the benefits of being a student.
It might not happen right away, but here are seven things you’ll eventually miss about your college days.
College students are friends with other college students because it’s convenient—you’re all in the same place at the same time—and you share common objectives. The fact that everyone is approximately the same age doesn’t hurt, either. Once you enter the “real world,” you’ll be working with people of all ages. A lot of them will have families, which means they’ll probably head straight home once the work day is done rather than go out to party. Introducing yourself to your new next-door neighbors and waving when you bring groceries in from the car or check the mail doesn’t have the same feeling as being introduced to a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend on campus.
A lot of college students constantly complain about their busy schedules, but there’s a good chance you’ll miss all of that “busy-ness” when you start working eight or ten hours every day. Weekends will probably be spent running errands and catching up on things that you didn’t have time to do during the week … because you had to be at work all day. And Monday rolls around before you know it. Sigh.
Even if you’re a full-time college student, you probably wind up with four or six weeks off at Christmastime and three or four months off every summer. Recently-hired employees are generally offered two weeks of vacation per year.
And speaking of work … it’s not unusual for so-called traditional college students between the ages of 18 and 22 to have part-time jobs, but part-time jobs are just that. Part time. They don’t take up forty or fifty hours (or more!) of your week. Believe it or not, down the road there will come a day when you think back to that embarrassingly awful $7 an hour job making pizzas and smile about how much fun it was.
We all know that going to college can be expensive, especially if you live in a dorm on campus. But many students have some type of financial assistance—even if it is student loans—that help take care of the costs while they’re in school. Even though you’re paying dearly (or racking up a lot of debt) to live in that residence hall, you aren’t dropping off a monthly rent check and paying for electricity and water. Once you have your own apartment and utility bills in your own name, you will miss those crazy dorm days and insane roommates.
It’s not a wise idea, but the world probably isn’t going to come to an end if you decide to skip class just because you don’t feel like going. If you go to a large state university with big classes, there’s a good chance the professor doesn’t even know (or care) that you aren’t there. You can’t really do that when it comes to work. The boss will notice if you don’t show up or come in late every day.
Staying up all night to cram for a test or finish a project happens to the best of us. Hitting the clubs and stopping at an all-night diner for breakfast at 4 AM is also probably something you’ve done on more than one occasion. Once you settle into the routine of working all week, you’ll start going to bed earlier and earlier. You’ll think back to your college days and wonder how in the heck you used to stay up for 24 hours straight!
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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