If I had put my expectations into words I would have said "Life can't get any worse!" (I was before college a Catholic.)
Life couldn't get any worse than that of the only Catholic I knew well: my dad's. His parents didn't have the money to send three kids to Catholic schools but wanted their two daughters to finish high school so they could marry better.
It had to have been a hard lesson and my dad remembered it. When a two-year-younger brother spoke of wanting to quit high school, our dad told him "The day you quit is the day you move out!"
BTW, one of my dad's two sisters did marry better. My brother finished high school; his son is an MD and his two daughters an RN and a CPA.
I finished college an agnostic, found work I liked, and life after religion has been VASTLY better than I expected.
Is your life after religion what you expected?
Replies here might help newbies at A/N in their searches.
* I paraphrased slightly a question asked of retired folk: "Is life after 50 what you expected?"
Whoops, I said in opening this discussion that my dad's parents didn't have the money to send three kids to Catholic schools. I forgot to add that his parents took him out of the Catholic school after sixth grade and told him to help support the family.