Top 10 things that scare college students

College is scary

zacharyanderson-lf-headshot

Zachary Anderson is a Top 10 writer for The Cavalier Daily.

Riley Walsh | Cavalier Daily

1. Commitment

Decision-making is hard. Naturally, it is much more comforting to keep your options open. This may happen to you when making a significant life choice — like what kind of cereal you want to buy — because it's really hard to commit to what you’re going to be eating for breakfast for all of next week.  

2. Deadlines

Sometimes you may find yourself thinking, “I have six days to write this term paper — that’s plenty of time!” The thing that you didn’t consider is that you are the supreme overlord of procrastination, so instead of six days to write a term paper, you have three hours. Where did all the time go? You probably should have spent less time rewatching “Friends” for the third time … 

3. Rejection

Ah, rejection. It can be difficult to manage and understand, but it’s good to remember that it happens to the best of us. Sometimes rejection can lead to a humbling realization — when you try to get tacos with your plus dollars and realize that you have none, maybe you should stop getting tacos every day.

4. Getting a bad grade

There’s always that ominous feeling that you get the day you receive your exam scores. When you get your written exam back — face-down, mind you — you know that something’s up. People tend to treat their grades like they have the power to alter fate — “If I don’t do well on this exam, then I won't do well in the class, which means I won't be good at life.” Hold your horses, OK? One number won’t change your life for better or for worse, even if that class is required for your major.

5. Bombing a presentation

That awkward moment when you begin with “Good morning everyone,” only to realize you’re giving your presentation at 5 p.m. We’ve all been there — forgetting specific lines and stuttering on important data points. These are things that happen to everyone. Nothing is more humiliating than pronouncing your own name wrong, and no, this is definitely not from personal experience. Bottom line? Don’t worry if your presentation was bad — someone probably didn’t even know they had a presentation to give.

6. Not living up to others’ expectations

This one’s pretty deep but mostly because we usually want to impress the people we admire. However, sometimes we just can’t escape the sinking feeling of falling short of our role models’ expectations. Take that one professor who thinks you’re way smarter than you actually are, for example. It sure feels great to be recognized like that, but you may be thinking, “Oh boy, just wait until you read my final paper.” 

7. Being singled out by your professor

Nobody wants to be “that kid.” It’s especially difficult to keep your cool if you aren’t caught up with the readings that everyone else seems to have already done. The worst part is that professors seem to expect perfection in their students’ answers, so you should hope and pray that your educated guess is correct. Despite the extreme stress that comes from being singled out, this shows that your professor acknowledges your presence — keep doing what you're doing! 

8. Picking the wrong major

Making a decision that could determine your career path holds very high stakes. What happens if you pick a major you wind up regretting? Well, then some serious self-evaluation will be coming soon to a personal narrative near you. Don’t worry, I’m only partly kidding. Truth is, your life is what you make it, so don’t be afraid to make those large changes.

9. Sleeping through an exam

It’s safe to say that all college students have a primordial fear of sleeping through classes, exams or even university sporting events. The mere adrenaline rush that you get when you realize you’ve slept through your exam is enough of an excuse to have missed it. You could get all shaky and sweaty, which could arguably be symptoms of a “highly-contagious” disease, or you could try to explain that physical exhaustion caused you to miss your exam?

10. Not getting a job right out of college

There’s nothing worse than feeling like all you got from college was a congratulatory piece of paper and some student debt. If you’re someone who doesn’t have a job lined up for them right after graduation, don’t worry. A good way to cope is by focusing on the good sides of college or the revelations you may have discovered about yourself. After all, not everyone can say they can function on only two hours of sleep. Jokes aside though, it doesn’t hurt to have a little faith that things will work out. It may be a scary ride, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

related stories