Debunking college myths

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You always hear it: “College is where you find your people.” “Don’t worry, college is nothing like highschool.” “In college, your professors won’t let these things slide.” Perhaps one of the only highly accurate college stereotypes is the one you hear about being a “Broke college student.” Needless to say, many students come into their college years expecting one thing — just to end up finishing their first semester saying, “What just happened?”

So let’s do some debunking. Here are some common misconceptions about college that just simply are not true.

  1. “Your professors in college are NOT going to let this slide.” You must’ve heard this at least once during your high school experience when your margin was .1 inch off from MLA formatting or because you forgot a period in your bibliography. Most of the time, college professors don’t have the time or energy to mark you off for a petty mistake. In fact, many give grace for deadlines if you have a reasonable enough excuse for a late assignment. Don’t worry about teachers breathing down your neck. As long as you’re honest and pay attention in class, your professors will recognize your work ethic.
  2. “College is nothing like high school.” Sadly, this one isn’t always the case, at least when it comes to the way people act. While college does bring differences such as more freedom and the ability to avoid certain crowds, there are a lot of people who carry their high school habits into their undergrad years. Don’t be surprised if there is still drama or if you hear petty rumors. Unfortunately, being in university doesn’t mean that people have outgrown their childish behaviors.
  3. “Don’t worry, you’ll find your crowd when you get to college.” For some, this statement isn’t something to be debunked. You very well might have found a few people you have clicked with and can see yourself carrying a relationship with through to graduation. And if so, that’s great! However, sometimes you don’t find your people until you’re working in your field and instead find yourself grinding away at studying while in college. Take it from me. Before I came to school, I had no problem making friends. I had a relatively drama-free high school experience with very close friendships. Fast forward to college, and I have found it very difficult to find those who prioritize the same things that I do or share the same values and interests. I read this one quote the other day that helped me immensely, and it says, “When your priorities are balanced, your success will look different.” Don’t compromise your values or priorities to fit in with a crowd you don’t actually click with.
  4. “Be prepared to get no sleep!”  A year ago, I would have agreed with this one. Between having a job, being a reporter, running a business and taking 16 credits, sleep was not something I got much of. But after burning out and spiraling back into bad habits and thought patterns, I realized how much sleep deprivation was damaging me. Now, I get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If I don’t, I am way less motivated, less focused and less productive. Prioritizing getting a full night of sleep will save you from the mental exhaustion of trying to retain anything during the day. Staying up late is not worth it, and that’s not even considering the importance of sleep for your health. Honestly, you’ll most likely end up getting less done than you would otherwise by skipping out on your eight hours.
  5. “Don’t worry if you haven’t had any luck finding someone before; there are so many options at college!” Maybe you held the expectation that going to college would open the door into the pool of potentially eligible significant others. Maybe in high school you had a couple awful experiences that turned you off to dating. Or maybe you completely held off from dating before college because, “What’s the point?” I hate to say it but… college isn’t much better. Healthy relationships only come from working on yourself and growing as an individual. Your location does not matter if you’re not in a mental space that is capable of being a part of a mature partnership. While college might give you more freedom and more options, it’s not necessarily going to give you the maturity. However, it is a great place to start working on yourself!

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