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July 10, 2013 / NextStepU

The truth about common college myths

Rachel-graphicFor those of you who are preparing for this new phase in your life, I’m sure you have heard plenty of stories about college and all that it entails. Many of these accounts may have scared you or have made you dread move-in day. However, a lot of what people have told you are flat-out lies, or are simply not the case for all colleges. Here are a few of the most common college myths and the truth about them:

College is a constant party. Not true. At least, not true for most colleges. Yes, you have more freedom and independence in college. But if you are smart (and you probably are), you’ll use that newfound liberty and make the most of your education and your tuition money. Most people I know in college spend their time doing homework and are usually in their rooms, if not asleep, by 12 a.m. on weeknights. Weekends might be another story, but I assure you that college is not a license to do only fun things one hundred percent of the time.

You never need to use paper if you have a laptop. Tell that to anyone whose laptop has broken down in the middle of a semester, like me. (That’s a horror story for another blog post). You need a laptop, but college is still a place where students need notebooks and textbooks. The desks in college classrooms usually consist of a piece of wood connected to a chair with a hinge. They are annoying and are too small to comfortably hold a laptop. And what if your computer freezes or bugs you about backing up your system in the middle of class? By the time you get it back to normal, your professor could have told you five things that will be on the next test. Notebooks work better for lectures, even with modern technology.

No one cares about freshmen. My high school math teacher told me that my senior year. You might have heard that freshmen are lowest on the totem pole and that professors, administrators and upperclassmen completely ignore the new students. That’s just not the case. Orientation is designed specifically for the transition from high school to college. Professors often make a point of offering one-on-one time for those who are struggling in class. And most upperclassmen (whether they are in your class or in a club/team with you) are welcoming and willing to help you if they can. The first few weeks of college are overwhelming for any freshman, but please don’t think that you will constantly be ignored. You won’t be.

All-nighters are the norm and coffee is a mandatory. Okay, this might be true for some people, but it is not true for everyone. Yes, if you like to work at night or are a master procrastinator, you will probably need coffee and all-nighters. However, if you are organized and are skilled at time-management, you will not need either. I have completed three years of college and have never needed to pull an all-nighter to finish a paper or to study for a test. And I have never had a cup of coffee. This might not be typical, but you won’t automatically become a caffeine addict or a night-owl in college if you know how to create a schedule.

Professors don’t care if you come to class or not. That might be true if your average class size is 300. If not, then your professors will most likely keep attendance if attendance is part of your participation grade. Playing hooky once in a while is not a big deal, but for the most part you definitely should be showing up to class. Constant absence will keep you from learning, will negatively affect your grade and will keep you from getting to know your professor. Sometimes you can create useful relationships, network and prove you are responsible just by attending class. You can definitely miss class if you are sick, but don’t think for a second that your professors won’t notice.

Rachel Montpelier is the summer editorial intern at NextStepU and attends Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. She can be reached at Rachel@NextStepU.com.

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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Maria / Jul 17 2013 1:57 pm

    Reblogged this on College Tips and 'Ships.

  2. Joshua / Aug 27 2015 1:52 pm

    I think this post will be interesting for the pupils. Nice sense of humor. Thank you.

  3. kaijohnsonblog / Oct 19 2016 5:20 am

    Most high school students have been taught all their lives that “working as a ______ is beneath your dignity” News flash–no job is beneath your dignity.

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