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Freshman Year at UW: Expectation vs. Reality

Freshman year: a new beginning when your first time successfully playing flip cup feels monumental, Fleishman’s appears to be a tolerable form of alcohol, and thinking about the future becomes equally exciting as it does terrifying.


Before move-in day, we all paint some sort of picture of what it means to be in college—which never matches up to reality.


Expectation: You are going to be completely in-the-know about parties. Neon parties, ABC parties, frat parties, all the parties. Your biggest issue will be how to balance your time at all these parties…because there are so many and they all beg for your presence. 

If you’re a guy, you’ll be able to get into any party you want, and talk your way out of that $5 red Solo cup fee—just reason with drunk frat guys looking to get laid in regards to why you shouldn’t have to pay for a cup when they don’t even want you there. 


Reality: In the world of college partying, you are a peasant and no one wants you or your stupid floor there.  But sometimes, someone will throw you a bone and invite you out. You take celebratory pregame shots and cheers to the fact that you won’t be drinking in the dorms—but don’t get too excited, we guarantee you’ll have no idea how to get there.

If you’re a guy, once you arrive at said party, you are told that you have to pay $10 to get in because you did not comply with the 1/6 guy/girl ratio that everyone obviously just magically knows about. You try to talk your way in. It doesn’t work.


Expectation: Your first time having sex in college (or having sex ever) is gonna rock. You’ll easily find a DTF individual with a captivating personality who looks like they walked straight out of the body issue of Sports Illustrated

The sex is going to be phenomenal. Whatever kind of sex you want to have, be it slow and passionate, or so quick it’s done before either of you can say “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am”, your first time having sex in college will be however you want it to be. It’s going to be classy, enjoyable, and hottttttt.


Reality: A futon, bunk bed, or sexiling of a roommate was definitely involved. Someone just laid there because they had no idea what they were doing—and if we’re being honest, it was probably you. You may have thought this person was sexy the night before, but the morning sheds light on lies and poor judgment. The kid who you just thrashed genitalia with is either fat, a 2 out of 10 without makeup, or has a beer pong poster—original, really.

Oh, and despite being told NOT to fuck someone on your floor, you’ll definitely fuck someone on your floor.


Expectation: You will be successful in all of your classes. Everyone is probably exaggerating about how much they study, but even if you have to, you’re going to be extremely motivated and on point for the entire semester—in fact, you’ll probably enjoy going to class and studying. 


Reality: It’s two weeks into class and you are already on season five of your favorite Netflix show. You had good intentions of using Sunday as a study day, but you need drunk brunch to recover from the night before. When it comes to school, you get shit done, but you’ve discovered the greatness that is partying, and now turning up basically runs through your veins. You’re successful, but your motivation depletes because alcohol and partying have become fun and exhausting necessities of your lifestyle.




Expectation: An embarrassing, semi-proud stride down the street in which you are wearing a wrinkled version of last night’s clothes. Everyone passing by will give you knowing glances and you will reluctantly accept that, but fuck those guys because you just had sex.


Reality: ^See above. The walk of shame/stride of pride is exactly how you picture it. 


Expectation and Reality: You will experience a beautiful, transformative time in which you take classes that define where you want to go in life, you’ll meet people whom you ultimately can’t imagine life without, and you’ll begin to evolve into the person you’ve always wanted to become. If you do college right, this will be your reality.



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written by UW students, for UW students.

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