Back to School Series: college misconceptions

In the next few weeks, 18-year-olds across the country will be road tripping to their new home and beginning the next four years of their lives. When my dad and I flew out to San Diego 2 years ago, I was terrified, excited, nervous, and every emotion in between. The only thing I could base college off were the movies, and that certainly wasn’t easing my mind. To prevent current and future freshman (or transfers) from having their share of mental breakdowns, I’ve decided to compile a post of some misconceptions my friends and I had about college our freshmen year.

  1. High school prepares you for college- In high school I barely studied, missed school once every other week (or more), and didn’t really care about high school in general. I still maintained a 4.2 GPA all 4 years of high school. However, when I got to college I was in for a major shock. In college, you can’t skip class, you have to study, and you HAVE TO care. These things are vital to succeeding, graduating, and getting a job.
  2. Getting classes out of the way early is a good idea- No. I had an 8 am second semester and 2 9ams my first semester. I am a morning person, however, having to sit in a room with words and facts being spewed into your face for an hour really takes the life out of you. On my days where classes didn’t start until 10 or 11, I had much more energy and was able to get little tasks done in the morning like eating breakfast, going to the gym, and organizing myself.
  3. Midterms and finals are hell- If I’m being honest, they do suck. I won’t lie. Having to know a semester worth of information for 5-6 classes isn’t easy, however, it’s not the end of the world. If you’ve been reading your books, attending classes, and studying regularly, finals will be over before you know it.
  4. Everyone parties- This was probably my biggest fear entering freshman year. I’m usually very introverted and I don’t like large crowds (unless it’s a concert) and I’m  more conservative when it comes to attire… college parties are not the place for me. I did go out a few times freshman year (first weekend, halloweekend, etc.) but most of my friends and I didn’t go out most weekends and that’s okay.
  5. You won’t make any friends- Join a club or make study groups with people in your classes and you are guaranteed friends. Freshmen (any year really) are always looking for new people to talk to with similar interests. Go out of your comfort zone and start up a conversation and you’ll be sure to have a few new friends.
  6. The food is bad- I don’t know where this rumor started but the food at San Diego (And Ohio from what I’ve had) is really freaking good. There are professional and student cooks who make such a variety of different foods daily to please everyone’s palette. If you can’t find something you like, you aren’t looking.
  7. Greek life is everything- Greek life is a good way to make friends and be social, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t join a sorority. At my schools and most of my friends’ schools, Greek life is less than 10% of the student body. If you want to go Greek, do it!, But if not, don’t feel pressured.
  8. You’ll never leave the library- First semester, I went to the library twice and the only reason I was there was to print something because my printer broke. If your roommate is quiet enough and you don’t have a lot of group projects, you are given a really nice desk that can work just as well as the library.
  9. You have to know what you want to do as a freshman- Most people enter college with one idea of what they want to do and end up changing it one, two, or ten times before they really know what they want. Don’t fret if you enter undecided!
  10. People instantly mature when they get to college- Have you ever met a college boy?

To all the new college students, I hope this helps. What else are you nervous for or what were you nervous for before starting college?


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