5 Things Nobody Says About College (Until It's Too Late)

#2. The New Friends You Make Will Be Temporary

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From the outside looking in, this is a "yeah, no shit" statement, but I'm telling you it's so much different when you're living it. The friendships you strike up in college are every bit as real and meaningful as every other relationship you've been a part of. You can't look at those people as "disposable," because they're not. That connection can't be faked. Or, I guess it can, but you'd be better suited for a life of con artistry than a legitimate job that requires a degree.

When you're fresh out of high school, you're used to the majority of your friends coming from that school environment. So when you step into this new one, it's easy to think that this will be more of the same. The big difference is that, unless you moved around a lot, you spent a decade or more with your old friends. You'll spend four with your new ones -- two if you're in a junior college. Twenty if you're philosophy majors.

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Fucking hippies.

If you're lucky, you'll be able to coordinate your schedules to match up for a few semesters, especially if you're just getting the core classes out of the way or you both have the same major. When you start to split off toward the end when you need more specialized classes, you'll still see each other from time to time, but that will start to decay as the classes get harder and you both need to concentrate on studying, rather than cruising through town and leaving ass prints in all the wet cement you can find.

After graduation, it all depends on where you settle down. If you live a few blocks away from each other, congratulations! You'll probably have a very long kinship. If seeing each other means taking a long drive and coordinating days off work and setting up babysitters ... it'll slowly peter out, until one day you find yourself assing a sidewalk and think, "I wonder how Tito Hunchthrust is doing. I haven't seen him in ages."

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Such a beautiful, clean canvas, just begging for the art that is my ass.

But while you're there in the midst of that relationship, you'll think it's going to last forever. You won't let that separation happen like everyone else does. Your friendship will be the exception. Some people pull it off, but in my experience, it's as rare as a tattooless porn star. And speaking of porn ...

#1. College Isn't the Booze-Fueled Orgy That Movies Depict

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Every college movie eventually has that one party scene where someone's million-dollar home is packed with perfect bodies, loud music, $5,000 worth of alcohol, and the promise of fucking. I once saw a T-shirt that said, "SIU: A $30,000 Bar Tab." When I told my mom that I was going to college, she said, "Don't make me a grandmother before I'm 40."

That's the stigma, though, right? College is full of experimentation. Drugs, booze, sex ... wacky sorority guys throwing kegs filled with other sorority guys off of someone's roof. Hell, I didn't buy my first condom until my first day of class, and since I had certain expectations, I got a box big enough to require a dolly to move. Then I promptly and extensively used none of those.

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"The jar? Oh, that's just my art project. I call it 'Good Intentions.'"

The truth is that aside from the occasional party to break up the monotony of class, college is less booze-fueled fuck gatherings and more Red Bull, coffee, and long stretches of silently reading until sunrise and then slugging through the day on two hours of sleep. Even if you made it a goal to party every night of the week, the average person couldn't without crashing ass first into a pile of "get the fuck out of our school, you class-failing douche."

You find out very quickly that every professor believes that hers is the only class that exists, and she couldn't give less of a shit about your personal life. If you don't finish your projects or make the grade, so be it. Shortly after that, you realize that partying costs money that you likely don't have because you're wasting it all on stupid things like food and shampoo. The funny thing to me is that by the time you figure this out, you're too tired to be disappointed.

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If nightmares came in shapes, this would be it.

Don't let any of this discourage you. College is a necessity now. Even if it wasn't, you'll learn more about deadlines and personal management in those four years than you did in the previous 18. That is why employers look harder at graduates' applications. That degree instantly tells them that you can commit and follow through with important tasks without someone looking over your shoulder. Now get your ass signed up for classes so Cracked can hire you as interns and make you do all of our shit work.

John is an editor and columnist right here at Cracked, with a new article every Thursday. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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