From the editor: The tough stuff

Movies and television make college look so fun—and easy. If you believed them, going to college is all about parties, making friends, wearing cool clothes, having lots of money and dating. They rarely show the tough stuff.

Where is the scene of students sitting in the financial aid office? We never see the star struggling to understand math homework or getting strep throat and wondering what to do. They rarely show realistic classroom scenes or just how stressful exams can be. They seem to make the college experience pretty standard in the movies when, in reality, it can be wildly different for every student.

Everyone can struggle in the classroom, but what about all those other factors that come into play? My college experience was more challenging then some because I worked fulltime and spent a lot of time in the financial aid office trying to figure out how I was going to pay for classes. For others, the mere fact of being in a place that is very different from home with people who are very different from you becomes a huge factor. Or what if you’re parents didn’t go to college? Who do you turn to for advice?