Going into freshman year, I’m sure you’ve heard loads upon loads of advice concerning what to expect. You’ve been told to take it easy, to study nonstop, and to avoid the cafeteria food. How much of it is fact, and how much is a myth? Here’s a couple misconceptions about freshman year, debunked.
1. Cafeteria food is awful.
While this may be true on some campuses, in others, you really just have to know what to eat. It takes two seconds to ask the cafeteria workers when the food is fresh and when the best times to eat are–they’ll be happy to help you out! If you really can’t find anything that seems to be edible, go for the fruit.
2. Boys are always looking for a one-nighter.
The occasional scumbag will come along, don’t get me wrong, but more often than not boys are just looking for a good time. If they haven’t gotten out much before freshman year of college they might think sex with no strings attached is the best way to go, but it isn’t always! Find yourself a solid groups of boys who you can trust and who you know value your friendship beyond the potential girlfriend material.
3. You have to party, or you won’t be cool.
Some people go to parties, some don’t. Some love them, some hate them. Never attending college parties would be missing out on the college experience but you don’t have to go out every night. Don’t feel bad about skipping the next frat rager in favor of writing a research paper. If you need to stay in and study, or you have to get up early for practice that’s fine. You’re not lame for putting your education or your own preferences above the masses; you’re smart. You should never, EVER feel pressured into doing something you’re not comfortable with. However, if you decide not to go out, avoid lecturing people who do!
4. You will gain the freshmen 15.
In fact, the freshmen 15 is a myth. If you watch your eating habits and exercise freshman year, you’ll stay fit. You don’t have to worry about gaining weight anyway–you’re still you, whether you’re 110 pounds or 160. Feeling good is way more important than looking thin. Often, college weight gain can be attributed to the higher levels of stress the body has to cope with rather than a lack of dietary consistency.
5. Everyone is having sex.
College is about people trying to figure out who they are, and many people seem to think they need to have sex to figure that out. That does NOT mean that it’s a natural part of college. No one will judge you if you don’t want to put out, and half the time the people who talk about it non-stop aren’t even getting laid. If having sex is something you’re interested in, that’s fine, but don’t feel like you have to do something you aren’t comfortable with in order to be cool. People will admire you much more if you honor your own principles and stay true to your own personal morals.
6. You’ll probably fail a class or two while you’re trying to get in the swing of things.
Honestly, you aren’t obliged to let your grades tank for the first semester of freshman year (or longer). It is 100% okay to be at college for the education, the career, and the degree more than the social aspect. If it takes you a little bit longer to find that group of friends because you’re studying for a test, that’s completely fine. Don’t let your fascination with independence get in the way of the rockstar grades you know you can achieve. On the other hand, it’s okay if you get an F. You’ll recover, you’ll do better, and you’ll learn from it. Let it go.
7. You’ll make a million friends during orientation.
The truth is, you’ll make probably about two friends, but you’ll talk to more people than you ever have in your life. I only hang out with about three of the people I met at orientation, but I recognize others all over campus and know random weird icebreaker facts about them. You’ll get settled, but don’t feel discouraged if nobody clicks right away.
8. You’re going to change your major a bunch before you settle on one.
I declared my major on my application and stuck with it. If you enter college knowing exactly why you’re there, don’t let people tell you that you’ll probably change it. Don’t feel bad for defending your dreams or having your goals in motion before others do. it’s good to know that you have the options to change it if you want but if you decide to stick with it, you’ll be great!
9. College will instantly feel like your new home.
I cried within ten minutes when my family left me at my university, and while that may seem lame, it’s realistic. You’ve been waiting to be independent since you were 12, and now that the time has come you might not be entirely sure what to do with it. It’s okay to not say the stereotypical phrase: “My campus feels like my second home! I’m so happy I’m here!” It’s not the end of the world if it takes you a few days, weeks, or months to adjust. It’s a huge change.
10. The academics will be much more challenging than in high school.
If you stay on your game and don’t get behind on your work, this shouldn’t be the case. While some colleges have mostly all-freshmen classes, some send you right into courses with seniors. You won’t know ahead of time, but what you can know is how you study best. The more you know about yourself as a student, the better off you’ll be.
11. Going to class isn’t actually that important.
Class is the meat of college. Class is what teaches you what you need to know in order to graduate. Class is where you’ll meet some of the most interesting people. Class is where you’ll make connections with your professors. Class is why college was invented. Please don’t think you can only go to test or presentation days and be fine. Even if you manage to pass the class, you’ll hate the stress that will come the night before your midterm. Don’t do it to yourself. Go to class.
12. You will automatically be a broke college student.
If you spend your money when you need to and splurge occasionally, you won’t be broke. You don’t need a bottomless bank account; you just need a brain. Always check Studentrate.com to find student discounts, and buy online vs. buying in store. Do you need the latest designer shoes? Probably not. You can find black heels for $20 at Forever21. Spend smart, not more.
College is a time for you to grow, to figure out who you are, and to connect with other people in a different way than you have before. Freshman year doesn’t have to be scary. Base your college experience off of your own actual experience, not off possibilities or stereotypes that other people have given it. Your college journey will be unique to you alone, and you are under no obligation to compare it to anyone else’s.
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.
Image source: housing.ufl.edu
Hannah is a student at Azusa Pacific University. You can probably find her reading, writing, blasting unreasonably loud music on the highway with the windows down, or incessantly organizing her life with to-do lists and planners. Although she loves education, kids, and all things history, her dream career would be one as a NY Times Book Reviewer.