Different students are excited about different things when they are looking forward to college. Some are excited about their studies — taking their education to a higher level and focusing on studies they are specifically interested in, instead of the general education curriculum they have been subjected to for the first 12 years of their schooling. Others are excited about independence, and their new social life — partying, joining a sorority or fraternity, and making lifelong memories. I’m not saying one is right and one is wrong. Unless you are steering away from the traditional college experience to go to Rutgers Online, the social element of college will be hugely important. There are certainly students who are excited about both, but usually one is pretty clearly prioritized over the other.

The funny thing is though, neither of these two categories of students really have any idea what the experiences they are so excited for will really be like at all. For the education side, they may have some ideas. The classes are going to be a lot bigger, harder, and faster. The level of education will be higher, but so will the level of expectation for the students.

On the social side though, the only ideas people really have are from movies and stories from their older siblings, both equally embellished in most cases. But what will life outside of the classroom actually be like in college? Here are a few things to expect.

What Is College Life Like Outside The Classroom


This is likely one of the parts you are expecting out of college, and one of the few parts left unembellished by college movies and your older brother’s stories. The social environment in college is really as dependent on alcohol as it seems. But that also depends on who you decide to align yourself with. There are certainly social groups that drink less than others. But for every student, it is present in your life in one way or another.


Social pressure is one of the unfortunate realities of college. It is an unsurprising side effect of being constantly surrounded by people your own age. In a lot of ways, it is like if you lived at your high school, except with more alcohol and less supervision. That makes it sound worse than it is, but it is easy to allow your social life to be ruined by self-inflicted or external pressures. It could be pressure to drink, pressure to join a club or organization, or just pressure to be out spending time with your friends every night.

Long Nights

Whether there is alcohol involved or not, college students love to stay up late. It is one of the things you can’t do when growing up in your hometown, so people become attracted to it once it is an option for them. It leads to some fun, amazing memories, and some powerful, long naps in class the next day. Hopefully, these nights will be more fun times than studying, but it depends on your class load.