College expectations vs. reality according to Saint Martin’s students

Expectations vs Reality

Staff Writer, Prya Oliveira

College is never what it seems because you can never truly prepare for it. You can give an incoming student the “best” advice, but everyone experiences this journey differently. There are so many college related quizzes online about “Which college is your best fit,” or “What type of roommate will you be based on your zodiac sign,” but the truth is, you will never know until you go through the motions yourself. Checklists are helpful, especially the ones that list what you should bring for your first year living in the dorms, or what you should carry with you on your first week of school. I definitely purchased way more than I needed to for my first year because I was so anxious that I would not have enough supplies. If only I had someone to tell me that college is not what I thought it was going to be, I probably would have had an easier transition.

I consulted a current Saint Martin’s student and an alumnae to see what their college expectations were. I asked if they had any expectations, what they were, and if these expectations were met or not.

Sarah Tano, sophomore, said, “One expectation I had before coming to college was that I would end up joining a lot more clubs and be more involved.” 

She says that because Saint Martin’s is a small school, she thought  there would be many clubs. One thing that held her back from branching out during her first year was her fear of meeting new people and trying new things. She said that she signed up for a ton of clubs, but only went to two meetings, which she described as a bummer. However, for Tano, that all changed when she challenged herself this year to push past this fear. 

“It helped that I knew more people over the year and met some that pushed me into joining clubs and being an active member,” she mentioned. 

I then asked her if there was one piece of advice that she could give to an incoming freshmen to which she responded, “Make decisions that are going to benefit you. Don’t fall to pressures that make you feel like doing something isn’t worth trying or you can’t do them.” She ends with, “While I still made great friends here, I know to put myself first and make decisions for myself. You got this!”

I then turned to Cassidy Apo, Saint Martin’s alumnae ’19, and asked what her thoughts were.

Apo said that one expectation she had about college was, “That my degree will help me easily find a job after college and that I would have enough time to figure it all out. Those expectations were met, but not 100%. I think people are too stuck on this idea that you have to find a job in the field of study that you have your degree in, but that’s not the reality. It’s okay to not have your first real world job in the field that you studied, because majority of the time that’s how life works out.” 

Apo then offers a sense of hope: “Everything takes time and multiple experiences. That’s something I felt like I had to figure out on my own once graduation neared.”

For the one piece of advice from this former Saint Martin’s student, she shares that you have to “be true to yourself and what you think is going to help you succeed in the future. Don’t feel like you have to follow the ‘after college textbook.” 

She further added, “Things don’t always play out the way they should and that’s okay. I promise it’ll lead you to a greater place in the future

These were two different perspectives offered by two completely different students, however the one thing that they both agreed on was that you have to remain true to yourself to make it through college. By not letting your fears of branching out get in the way, and by coming to terms with failure, your college experience will fly by. 


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