25 Memes That Perfectly Explain College Life (And The 'Adulting' That Comes Afterwards)

25 Funny Memes About College, Student Life & Adulting Everyone Who's Ever Taken A Final Exam Can Relate To

College is a stressful time in your life. There is not enough time in the day — you're plagued with late nights, pages of assignments, piles of reading and anxiety.

By the time you reach graduation, you are a completely different person than when you first started. You change, not only in appearance but also your identity changes. 

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There are two ways to look at college: As a whole or by semester. I’m going to look at both because they have the same sequence of events — one on a smaller, semester-based scale and the other on a larger scale, encompassing the whole college experience.

The first-year freshmen walk through the doors bright and excited to be there. Freshmen are so innocent and have no idea what they are getting themselves into. But sophomore and junior years open your eyes to the reality of college life.

You gain experience, learn and grow into yourself. Then, you buckle down and push through to the end.  

Roommates can either be awesome or horrible. Senior year comes before you know it and changes everything. 

By the time you reach finals at the end of the semester, it feels like you’ve been put through the wringer. Your brain hurts, your eyes hurt. You’re hungry, tired, cranky and feel like you need to sleep for a year.

Once finals are finished, your nerves are shot, your anxiety is through the roof and you are so worked up it's hard to concentrate and even sleep. Even though you want to sleep for centuries. Though you still feel that you have a million things due, you don’t.

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It’s bittersweet when you get to the end of the semester or graduation. Some people know exactly what they want to do after college and others have no idea.

Everyone experiences college in their own unique ways. Here are some relatable memes that explain how you feel about college as a whole and each semester:

1. When you get a Facebook reminder from 4 years ago.

via MEME

"Freshman Year / Senior Year / College life in a nutshell."

2. You go into college full of hope and come out barely alive.

via MEME

"First year of college. Final year of college."

3. At the end of the semester, when you lose all hope.


"My thoughts during finals week: A lot of people go to college for 7 years."

4. You all change so much in just four years.

Daily LOL Pics

The life of a college student, freshmen year, sophomore year, junior year, senior year, looking for your first job and realizing your degree is worthless."

5. You will never be the same again.


"Me starting my first semester of college vs me starting my last."

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6. An accurate picture of a college student at graduation.


"When u are graduating and u don't even remember what u studied."

7. A semester summed up in 4 photos.


"College in four pictures. I have $3."

8. We've all had unreal expectations.


"Expectation: Freshman year: a whole new world! Sophomore year: Watchoo wanna do tonight?? Junior year: Let's get down to business Senior year: Hakuna Matata Reality: Freshman year, Sophomore year, Junior year, Senior year."

9. College takes so much out of us.


"Me fall semester: wakes up at precisely 6am each morning, uses a planner, color codes notes, interacts with peers, has an overall positive outlook for the future."

10. Gearing up to do the project the night before it's due.

"My teacher / Me / the project I did midnight last night."

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11. When you whine for 30 minutes when you could be doing homework instead.


"We're dead! We're dead! We survived but we're dead!"

12. When you have 30 things due, and there is not enough time to do them.


"Stress level: Princess Mia driving the stang."

13. Freshmen year can be overwhelming, but, by senior year, nothing phases you. 


"Freshmen year: Senior year: I can't be worried about that shit. Life goes on, man."

14. Expectations, expectations.


"Brags about skipping class four times. Brags about going to class four times."

15. Such optimism before reality hits.


"Freshmen Seniors."

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16. When you know the term paper is the only thing that can save your grade.

The Funny Beaver

"Do you like my paper, professor? I wrote it with my tears."

17. Owning your failures like a boss.

Daily LOL Pics

"When you know you did a bad job but you're just proud you finished your assignment."

18. Spending too much time studying causes you to go a bit insane.

The Meta Picture

"Final exams are right around the corner. Are you ready to go crazy?  I'm already hearing voices."

19. When you just need to finish it.


"Last five minutes of exam."

20. How every student feels at some point in the semester.

Grade Calculator

"Soon I will rest. Yes. Forever sleep. Earned it I have."

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21. College is like Frodo barely making it out of Mordor with most of his fingers.

Meme Center

"Incoming Freshmen: I'm going on an adventure!! Graduating Seniors: It's over, It's done."

22. We all start out prepared. 


"Professor: "Good morni... Freshmen: Write that down, write that down!"

23. I mean, we’re really booked.


"College students be like: 4:00- wallow in self-pity. 6: 30 dinner with me. I can't cancel that again. 7:00- wrestle with my self-loathing. I'm booked. If I bumped the loathing to 9:00, I'd have time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness."

24. Keeping it together is hard.

"Me at the start of the semester vs me now."

25. Real food is hard to find in college, so when you see your parents you know you are going to eat well.

Her Campus 

"Not sure if I miss my family or just want real food." 

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Emily Francos is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.