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6 Things I Miss About College

Updated on November 16, 2010

It's amazing how much I miss college, now that I think about it. Right around this time last year, I was gearing up for my final year at college as a senior. And now here I am, moping around about what once was.

I guess it's a combination of not being able to find a job, having no money, and knowing that all of my other friends are still enrolled in school. Regardless, there are a couple things about college that are sorely lacking on the graduate side of life. 6 to be exact.

I'm sure once I find a job and get invovled in my the post-grad life, I won't miss college so much. I hate feeling nostalgia this quickly after finishing a part of life, but it's just one of those things in life you can't avoid.

Although, there is grad school...

Seems like college ended a little too early for me...
Seems like college ended a little too early for me...

1. The Freedom

One thing that college offered that I lament not having anymore is freedom. At college, your only real responsibility was to go to class and (hopefully) pass. Aside from that, college students are free to do whatever they see fit. Some people get jobs. Some people do drugs. Others get involved on campus. But the fact of the matter is, the choices were almost infinite.

Out in the real world, you don't have any freedom at all, contrary to what our constitution says. You've got things like bills and rent to pay. It's not fun at all. It's a complete role reversal, and I'm a little overwhelmed, because I see so many people leaving college, only to become locked into living to work. Scary indeed.

2. The Learning Atmosphere

Just being on a college campus seems to make people want to learn. I guess being surrounded by so many people actively involved in their studies is contagious. I remember talking to my friends taking classes like Anatomy and Physiology, really intensive courses, and just hearing how hard they had to study would motivate me to put that much more effort into my own work. And heaven forbid you walk into the library, you almost had no choice but to do something constructive.

I really miss being around so many budding intellectuals. Things just aren't the same after college. Sure, I have more freedom to study things that aren't apart of my major; it's hard to stay motivated. When your roommate is locked away, pulling an all-nighter to finish their mid-term, it's just the kind of setting that can cause people to study harder. But out here it's so...empty.

3. Meeting New People

I'm fully aware that it is possible to meet new people outside of college, but there is definitely a unique feeling to doing so in a campus atmosphere. No matter how small your school is, you're always bound to meet someone new, and in the most random ways, too. There's meeting people in class, at the cafeteria, in the gym, at dorm parties, or just out of the blue when former students come back to visit their old dorms and tell you about all the debauchery they committed there before you. (True story)

One of my frat brothers who graduated a few years ago told me that I should take advantage of meeting people while still at college, because those oppurtunities are few and far between. I'm not that worried about meeting people, it just seems to happen. But getting to know your neighbors just isn't the same as other college students in your quad.

4. Greek Life

Greek life doesn't end once you graduate from college. At least, it's not supposed to. But being apart of a social Greek organization on campus has no parallel in any other way in the world. The good, the bad, the ugly, every part of being Greek is just one crazy experience that nobody ever wants to end. My fraternity makes it a point for undergrads to get involved in either throwing events on campus, performing community service, and just being social. Ah man, it was great.

I still plan on being involved, but responsibilities and oppurtunities change once you're a college graduate. It's like being promoted from a private to a general. You don't really spend time in the trenches anymore, so you start to feel a little left out. But it's all part of growing older, albeit a sadder part.

5. Privacy

As if living in a college dorm wasn't cool enough, the level of privacy at college is the icing on the cake. While I didn't get my own room at school until my junior year, it was well worth the wait. There is nothing better than being able to have your own private space. If you didn't want to be bothered, all you had to do was shut that door, and your were on your own planet. It was amazing. You could do a lot of things with that amount of privacy that you couldn't do elsewhere, like...homework,lol.

I don't know if I'm alone in this, but at home, my room saw more traffic than the living room did. Maybe it's because the only computer with Internet is here, but I had the least amount of privacy here out of the entire family. It got so bad that I had to lock my door, just to keep my sanity at times. Even when I shared a room at college, I never really had that problem, because at most, only one other person was there. The privacy offered at school is unrivaled.

6. Partying

Oh yeah! The college party scene is bananas. I mean, there's nothing like it! College is a very stressful place, and the most popular form of stress relief is to go out and party it up! On party nights, all you had to do was walk around campus, and you were almost guaranteed to find something going on. Or, you could just throw an impromptu party just like that. Basically, anything was a party at college.

Partying outside of college...*shudders*. I don't even wanna think about it. There's just no comparison. I don't care how hard you try, you just can't recreate that carefree attitude once you leave college. Period.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      That's why I want to go to grad school after I graduate. Sure it won't be as fun as undergrad but it will delay the real life (lol)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I feel the same way everyone. I went to UMASS and partied and hung uout with people in the summer after my junior year. I had no idea how much I would miss it. Now i work EVERY weekday 8-5 and get my 2 weeks a year off...I miss the freedom, I miss being in the same "boat" as everyone around me and I miss the carefree attitude. YOU ARE SO right you cannot recreate it no matter what...

    • MistHaven profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from New Jersey

      @Romain UF - I would say the solution is to try become your own boss, or start building up passive income from multiple sources so you don't have to work a traditional 9-5.

      That's what my goal is. I want my freedom back lol

    • profile image

      Romain UF 

      6 years ago

      Hey Guys! I feel exactly the same. I graduated last year after one crazy semester in a US Campus. (I am from Europe). It was the best time of my life: living in a new country, meeting new friends from another culture, partying and especially feeling that you are YOURSELF. I mean, when you are student, you don't have any restriction and you can do whatever you want or you're up to. You are free, you can comment everything, having you own point of view on anything, sharing it (even teachers encourage us to do it)…

      But once you are in a company, life is completely different. I started my job 5 months ago and after the first month I was really depressed thinking what should be the “real” life (truly fulfilling life) is over.

      First of all: I have to meet work schedule: I must wake up with a clock. Now it is very hard to get new friends with whom having fun and doing stupid or nonsense stuffs. I am sitting everyday in front of the same computer screens working with the same people who just show their professional attitude. I cannot say what I think. I must control myself and saying the “good” things. I am even confused to ask my boss a day off to see my family! I must wear a tie every day. No more shorts and flip-flops. No more t-shirt with the mascot of my campus. I must be serious all time.

      It’s not me!

      After 5 months of work, I just remember the week end. The week is always the same (more or less) but nothing crazy to keep in mind. There is a big difference between professional and public lives. When you are a college student, you are always the same: YOU.

      What is the solution to keep going with this way of life?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This post describes me perfectly. Truer words were never spoken.

    • profile image

      Todd G 

      7 years ago

      This "reality check" into the real world has led me to therapy. I miss my old life of "being someone". I had more

      Friends than I had time for in school. I miss so much about

      School. I live in a huge city now and I have never felt more alone in my life. I'm making changes to that though. I was in a fraternity in school so I still have quite a few friends in the area. I'm considering moving back to where I felt "comfortable" till I figure something else out.

      But just working everyday and being sad at night isn't working.

    • trusouldj profile image

      LaZeric Freeman 

      7 years ago from Hammond

      I had mostly writing classes. I miss the challenge of getting my page count in for a grade.

    • MistHaven profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from New Jersey

      @Sam - I hear you. I'm doing alright when it comes to my social life because I'm still active within my frat, but it's just weird. I finished school almost 2 years ago, but I keep reminiscing over it. I just miss the atmosphere and having all my friends in one place I guess.

      @Kaldia - Sounds like you were living the good life as an undergrad lol. The reality check of graduate life is a bit of a shocker, but in some ways, it's a lot of freedom, or lack thereof, all at once. It's overwhelming at first, but I'm getting used to it.

      @Karen - Thanks for reading!

      @Kate - I'm sorry to hear about your job situation. I have a job, but i definitely could have found it without a college degree. It's more of an accolade now than an asset, as most of my jobs since have been in warehouses...but it's a numbers game. You'll find work, but it probably won't be in your field, unfortunately.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You've just summed up exactly how I'm feeling! I miss college so much. It's also not helping as well that I can't get a job and everyone else has moved sucks.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I know Im late commenting on this, but I feel like this so badly. I think it was even worse in my case because I went overseas to London or 4 years - talk about the ultimate freedom. On top of that my job was working at a bar there...

      Now I've been home a year, with a job but looking to find my own place. Conversation with people doesn't seem nearly as interesting as it had ever been over a beer in college...except when I meet up with old classmates from time to time.

      I just hope that feeling that the world is yours to take on isn't gone forever. It sure seems like it =/

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I graduated about 10 years ago, I miss college cause in those days I had plenty of friends and a great social life. Nowadays I dont have a single friend.

    • fayehelen profile image


      8 years ago

      Awww, I am going through the exact same thing... I graduated this summer and don't know what to do with myself!

    • MistHaven profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New Jersey

      Nice, they made us wait for so long lol. And some seniors had to dorm with the freshman, so they never even got a chance!

    • MelissaWood profile image


      8 years ago

      Woah, the idea of waiting so long for your own room.....Scary! I've had my own room since day one. In the dorms my first year I had a single and my second year I moved off campus to an apartment with my own room. Next year its back to campus (the commute killed me :P) and back into a single.

    • MistHaven profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New Jersey

      True, I wasn't even thinking about vacations. That's another thing that ends with college, but at least in the real world you get paid ones.

      I agree with not having any free time. I throw away 8 hours a day working, but I'm so tired when I get home that I end up sleeping the rest of it away.

    • pisco profile image


      9 years ago from Portugal

      I finished mine some years ago, and yep we all miss it, i'm surprised you didn't talk about the vacations, because when you work, they just get cut down a massive percentage.

      I mainly miss the feeling that i had the free time to do anything I wanted, as nowadays that just almost never happens.

      But hey, i guess it's part of the transfer from college to workforce.

    • MistHaven profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New Jersey

      Lol, no matter what kind of college you go to, the one thing that they all have in common is partying. It's only a matter of time before college recruiters start mentioning that as a recruitment tool.

    • tony0724 profile image


      9 years ago from san diego calif

      I only went to a 2 year Jr . college . I basically majored In beer and the punkrock clubs In West LA . Good times though !

    • MistHaven profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New Jersey It's real hard to leave college and have to work for a boss that doesn't care what you think. *shudders* But you're right, I should connect with more college grads.

      @Nick B: I'm feeling that post-college culture shock right now. I always knew I would end up in college, but I never knew what I would do once I got out. I have an idea now that I'm out here, and that makes me even more thankful that I did get to experience college life.

    • Nick B profile image

      Nick B 

      9 years ago from Normandy, France

      To me, college was something I was on top of. I had a handle on the workload, the schedule and although for us, money was tight, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

      Moving out into the real world was a big shock and finding out that schools are not on the same planet as everyone else was a crushing blow.

      It took a while to get to grips with reality once my ivory tower had collapsed!

      I'm actually not sure I've got wholeheartedly to grips with reality, but I'm a good enough liar not to let it show...

    • profile image 

      9 years ago

      This hub is really something probably so many feel or can related to. The freedom thing is high on the list of why but perhaps just as important is the "open-mindedness" which seems to be cultivated with education. The contrast first year out is pretty severe with the grind of the so called real world especially if you have a "close-minded" boss in charge! But I found lots in the real world to entertain me though still find myself gravitating to college educated types. Don't forget they do exist in the real world too!

    • MistHaven profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New Jersey

      @creativeone59: Thanks for your words, I am very grateful for going to college. I did a lot of growing up there, and made a lote of memories.

      @Anshuman-Sahni: College brought me a lot of great memories. Thankfully, I see myself still keeping in touch with some of my college friends.

      @steffer: Thanks man. My friend told me the same thing: that life is only just starting for us college grads. He's right, but it still feels strange not having to go to school anymore. You seem to be doing alright, so I shouldn't have too much trouble adjusting to this new life.

    • steffer profile image

      Stef Verheyen 

      9 years ago from Belgium (Europe)

      nicely written misthaven, a pleasure to read, and so familiar to loads of people. College time is a precious time to hold, to reflect on and as stated in your hub, quite unforgettable.

      Now the real life is nocking the door, and it is wonderfull to, you will meet even more people, share interests with collegues and new friends, and yes, think back on those insanely cool college years.

      You will see yourself change and grow as time passes by.

      Yes, real life is hard, but it also has some cool features, like freedom(after work), having money, building up a life.

      I know, when you don't have a job, it could al seem hard, but once you found your way, it could be a very pleasant ride.

      I am now 28 years old, and graduated 10 years ago, man that gives a strange feeling, i can tell you that, just gratuated, and yet almost 30 years old, a wife, and a 6 year old daughter. Though i wouldn't change it one bit.

      College was a cool time, but ever cooller times are now awaiting you my friend.

      Take the time to enjoy all the changes that are coming, that's one of the lessons i've learned.


    • Anshuman-Sahni profile image


      9 years ago from India

      Nice hub. It is true every one misses his college after leaving it and the days would turn into memories as the time passes by. You would got busy in your life but a am sure you will never forget these days. and whenever you would meet an old buddie, you will feel the same again.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      9 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      College life sounded very exciting for you and it was a blessing that you achieved it, you should be very proud of yourself. you may be feeling all alone and by yourself but I'm sure there are others that feel the same. you went to college and got your degree and now it's time to make a difference in your life now,because you have the tools to accomplish that goal. Just have faith and believe that

      God will soon send you exactly what you need right now, and it will happen. thanks for your input on college life.



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