College can be a different experience for everyone. For me, college is even better than I had expected, but there were a few things that did not play out the way I anticipated. In the interest of helping out, here are seven college myths that I thought to be true before I started.
You are independent
Unless you are paying for college completely by yourself, you won’t ever have complete independence. For most of us, our parents do give us a helping hand. This means, however, that they do have a say in some of the choices that you make.
While you make most of your everyday decisions such as when to wake up and what to eat on your own, your parents will definitely play a role in long term or career-changing decisions.
You can finally take the classes you want
This myth can partially be true. You will for sure have more freedom to choose the classes you want to take compared to high school. However, there is no such thing as a perfect schedule in college. There will always be some class, professor or time slot that you didn’t plan on taking.
In addition, at most college, the upperclassmen have the first pick for classes. This means that by the time you want to sign up for the classes you want to take, they may be waitlisted or even closed.
You won’t miss home at all
I thought that I would not miss home as much as I do now. I used to think that I would spend all of my break time staying on campus instead of making the four hour flight back home.
However, I was quick to discover that staying on campus can be lonely if all of your friends go back home too. To help cope with homesickness, call or facetime your parents multiple times a week.
You will still be as close with your high school friends
This myth was one of the hardest for me to cope with. I discovered well into the first month of college, that people change so quickly. Some people that you thought you were friends with in high school may not be your friend now. It is important to recognize and get rid of toxic friendships as soon as possible.
On other other hand, I am even closer to some of my other high school friends. I love facetiming or calling them to catch up. Most importantly, I realized that just because you do not talk to someone on a daily basis, does not mean that you are not friends with them. Some friendships can withstand the distance and time. When you meet up with them again, it is as if no time has passed.
You can handle 8:30 classes every day
In high school, I became used to waking up at 6:30 to go to school. However, this is almost an impossible feat in college. I found out that you can get tired much more quickly in college due to longer study times and more demanding course load along with extraneous stress factors.
In addition, you don’t have your parents to wake you up for school if you decide to hit the snooze button a few more times. When to go to bed and when to wake up is completely your own decision. Sleep is super valuable in college. Instead of skipping your 8:30 classes, try to schedule them later on in the day.
You won’t pull an all-nighter
I have to admit I have yet to pull an all-nighter personally although I have had many friends go through this experience. Usually they pull all-nighters cramming for a final or a midterm the next day. Sometimes study plans do not work out and this happens. It is important to keep in mind that all-nighters mess up your sleep schedule and may not always be worth it. Often times sleeping instead of studying some more may prove to be more valuable.
You must follow the work hard, play hard lifestyle
Many people believe that the lifestyle in college is work hard, play hard. This means that they will study and do all their work during the week so that they can party hard on the weekends. While this may seem like a good idea, life can be unexpected. The work hard, play hard mindset is extremely tiring and demanding. I have seen people who have gotten so wasted on the weekends that they still can’t focus in class when Monday comes around. People often prioritize partying and socializing and forget the purpose of why they are in college in the first place which is to get a good education so that they can be prepared for their career and future.
These seven myths above are just some of the ones that my friends and I have experienced and are not comprehensive. I hope that you can use my advice to better improve your college experience.2