Personal Blog

The Hardest Thing About College (So Far) - Shreya Sachdev

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice day. For today’s blog post, I thought I would tell you guys all about the hardest thing about being at college so far. As all of you know, I’m currently studying English, Cinema Studies, and Drama at the University of Toronto in their St.George campus and I’m really loving it so far. I’ve met some really nice people, made some good friends, and I’m enjoying all my courses because they’re really interesting. I’m happy to be in college because I actually get to study subjects that I’m passionate about and have interest in, as opposed to high school in which I was forced to be studying so many subjects (math, biology, geography, french, etc) that I just didn’t care about nor was interested in. Since I didn’t care about what I was learning in high school, it was extremely difficult for me to actually study for those subjects and that’s why I did so badly in them when my final exams came around. Therefore, it’s great to finally study what I want to study. However, there is definitely something that’s difficult about college and something that’s extremely new to me, so I thought I would share that with all of you today. If any of you are going to be entering college soon or are in the middle of the college application process and are wondering what life at college will be like for you in a few months time, then I hope this blog post is able to help you out. If any of you are currently in college like me, then I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to what I’m talking about. Soon, I’ll be writing a post talking about the best thing about college (so far) so I can also talk about the positive aspects of college. I also have many more ideas in mind relating to the topic of college that I’ll be talking about soon so I hope you’re all looking forward to that! Since I’ve only been here for a month, I do want to point out that everything I’m writing are just my first impressions about college and I’m sure that my feelings, attitude, and many other things will change as time goes on and I spend more time here. Without further ado, let’s get started!

So, I would say that the hardest thing about being at college right now is actually the lectures. As you may or may not know, college is filled with professors giving lectures, and students are obliged to take notes on what the professor is saying. Now, this is actually very different from high school because in high school, the classes are much more interactive and along with the teacher speaking, you’re doing activities or you’re raising your hand and asking questions. In college, it’s much more of a “sit down and just listen” kind of environment, and this can be especially hard when the lectures go on for two to three hours and there’s no break in between. For me, I genuinely just don’t have the patience to sit in a classroom for two to three hours and listen to somebody talk, even if I’m interested in what the professor is saying. I constantly want to engage in a class discussion or work in small groups to create a presentation, because then I learn better and I enjoy the class a lot more. I was actually taking a class at college called “The City Where Movies Are Made” and it’s basically just a first year seminar that talks about Toronto as a filming location, and during the summer I was so excited about the course because not only did I pick University of Toronto because it’s a great university, but I also picked University of Toronto since it’s located in Toronto and Toronto’s a very popular filming destination since filmmakers often use Toronto in their movies to substitute it for New York, Chicago, and Boston. Unfortunately, when I took the class I just didn’t find it to be very interesting and I think that’s because the class was three whole hours, and the professor would just talk and talk, and he wouldn’t give us any assignments or activities to do in class so it was extremely easy to just doze off and start thinking about something else. It’s a shame because I was actually very interested in knowing about Toronto as a filmmaking city, but I didn’t find the class interesting at all so I had to drop it since I was literally falling asleep in that class. Also, I don’t think it would have been very difficult for my professor to assign some sort of group project or bring in some sort of class discussion, especially since it was a very small class (20-30 students) and it wasn’t actually one of those really big classes with over 400 students.

Anyways, I suppose sitting in lectures for two to three hours is something I’m just going to have to get used to. My lecture for Cinema Studies is only one hour, but my lectures for English and Drama are both two hours, and so I’m going to have to try really hard to just sit there and focus on what the professor is saying. If any of you are wondering how those classes are going so far, then I would say aside from trying to have patience in the lectures, the classes are actually going well especially since I’m interested in everything I’m learning. Cinema Studies is definitely a big change for me just because I’m not used to watching movies so often in class, so sometimes it doesn’t even feel as if I’m in school. In high school, I was only studying subjects like math, biology, history, and I suppose the “classic” subjects everyone studies in school, so it’s cool to be studying something so different and something I’ve never studied before since it’s pushing me outside of my comfort zone and I genuinely want to be studying this, since I know it’ll come in useful for what I want to do with my life later on in the future. Aside from lectures, other challenges in college so far include food, homesickness, and independence, but at the same time those things are also what’s making college so great. I love being independent and being able to decide what time I want to have dinner and what I want to do for that specific day, and these things are really teaching me to grow up and be an adult. I wouldn’t say that I’m super homesick because I’m not, but I do miss Geneva and seeing familiar faces just because I grew up with certain people for ten years of my life, and it feels a bit weird to know that I might not ever see them again and that they’re not in my classes anymore. On the other hand, I’m really liking the people I’ve met here so far and I look forward to meeting even more new people!

Shreya Sachdev