To whomever told me that going to college would be a good idea ... I have some words for you:

In movies and television, college is painted as an oasis of self discovery wrapped in freedom — a place and time to make mistakes, find friends and really figure out what you want to do with your life.

I am going into my fourth year of college and am still waiting for that whole figuring-everything-out part to begin.

Hollywood Lies

Movies like American Pie 2 and Pitch Perfect show college as one giant party or some sort of grand journey of self discovery with newfound friends. In reality, it’s just been hours and hours of reading articles and annotating notes from class.

These movies show your dorm room as basically a miniature apartment that you can decorate as you wish. You come to expect enough space for everything: your favorite desk chair from back home, speaker system, fridge — oh and not to mention plenty of storage for your clothes.

Sure, nothing is better than playing furniture-Tetris on move-in day trying to cram all that into a 10-feet-by-20 feet rectangle seven stories up.

It may sound trivial, but films and movies create an image of what to expect when you get to college — an image that is far from what most students actually experience. Yes, some students party daily and yes, some students may have a large apartment that can support a lavish lifestyle; however, not everyone can be so lucky.

"RIT is a different kind of university, one where the jocks and nerds can be at the same frat party."

First Year, Round Two

Full disclosure, I did not attend RIT for my first year of college.

At my first university, I felt incredibly isolated. I felt disconnected from my peers, my family and the friends that I had suffered through high school with. Instead of partying every weekend, I sat in my windowless dorm room with my next-to-silent roommates who never seemed to leave the room. To sum it up in a few words, my first year of college was the worst year of my depression.

I could never fully be who I was my first year, so I decided to transfer to RIT, where I finally felt more at home.

At RIT, I feel that I am able to be whatever version of myself I want to be without feeling excluded. RIT is a different kind of university, one where the jocks and nerds can be at the same frat party.

RIT offered me a unique college experience, a culture of diversity — and honestly ... nerdiness. All interests have a place at RIT, whether it be sports, cars or video games.

There is a stigma that RIT is just a STEM school full of smelly computer geeks who don’t know how to shower. While there is some truth to this, RIT is a university that movies wish they could recreate. Hollywood could never imagine a school where the nerds are also the popular crowd.