Despite what everyone says about college, most of it isn’t true. You’ve probably heard lectures from your parents about how certain things won’t fly in college, things from your high school teachers to intimidate you, things from older kids that just don’t apply to present-day college. Point is, don’t believe everything you hear. If you’re anxious to head off to college, it’s understandable, but more than likely, you will end up enjoying it much more than you did high school. Read on to hear about 8 myths about college that just aren’t true!
1. You miss high school.
Besides some people and a couple of groups I was a part of, I never missed high school once I left. I never figured out who I was in this world, what I was doing, what mattered to me, or who mattered to me. All I felt like was just another face in a never-ending cycle of attending classes for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I can safely say, now looking back, I didn’t even realize how much I hated it until college showed me a different life.
The minute I attended Prowl, a program focused on helping freshmen and transfer students transition into Eastern Illinois University, I completely forgot about high school because my new life started. I don’t miss the standardized tests, the long hours, the boring class material, the endless homework, the lack of anything fun or free time, and so on. Again, if you loved high school it might not be the same for you, but if you felt empty, dull, undeveloped, and all around uninterested in high school with some exceptional moments, then know there’s some light at the end of that tunnel if you’re planning on going to college.
2. Most of what you did in high school matters in college.
To piggyback off the first one, almost nothing from high school matters in college. News editor of your paper? Doesn’t matter, you’ll still be taking basic newspaper classes with everyone else, and the true test is if you can give up your social life and huge chunks of your grades to work for the paper full time (which I sadly couldn’t). Took college algebra honors junior year? Unless you’re a math major it’s not covering any gen eds for you. High ACT scores? Unless you got a full scholarship, no one cares to know your score after you get accepted. Didn’t make many friends in high school? Almost no one from your high school is joining you at your university and no one knows your reputation until you tell them. Basically, everything you did in high school matters for your admission into the university. Once you’ve been accepted you get a clean slate and you’re reestablishing yourself. For those of us who kept barely scoring average on those stupid standardized tests, couldn’t even manage a 3.0 cumulative GPA and felt like just an ordinary kid in the crowd it meant a second chance. To those straight A’s, perfect attendance, award winning star pupils it meant higher expectations. Just know not only can you start over in college the moment you step foot on campus, you also can completely forget about high school.
3. The people you meet will be too mature and responsible.
The people in college can be just as careless, silly, passive aggressive as the crazies you knew in high school. We all know college nowadays is a requirement to gain access to almost any job you want, so obviously, you’re not going to encounter the stereotypical late night studier who’s killing themselves to look, act, talk and come off as the best they can be. People have different priorities from you and problems, so what you think is important such as a group project might not be to one of your partners. If they have other things on their mind or obligations they might not even think twice about screwing you over. With all the freedom and access, we have with the internet you can find more people who resemble the petty, egotistical, selfish, careless and uncaring individuals you knew in middle or high school. You don’t have to be friends with them but you can reassure your parents you’re not in school with the kind of people they knew when they were your age where only the best of the best attend and expect the same. Remember, age and maturity are not always linked.
4. You’ll constantly need your parents for money.
This might depend on your current economic situation and maybe this was just me but hey we all know we’re broke in this country. However, just because your parents can lend you money doesn’t mean you must ask them constantly. I know some people who get money from their parents once a week and I only get it when I absolutely need it which is rare. I mean, you’re on your own, so why leach off your parents when you can be free from them without still relying on them too much? It doesn’t make sense to me. Clearly, you’re still too dependent on them if you constantly ask them for money when you can get a job on campus, work summers or do odd jobs yourself. I know plenty of people who tell me they will have very little debt because they worked endless hours over the summers, during the semester and before they came to college. It can be done. True independence takes more than just one form.
5. You’ll have much harder homework.
I’ll say it, I never have nearly as hard of homework as I did in high school. As for the education, music, nursing, Communication science and disorder majors I don’t know how they do it. But the homework back in high school was dull, relentless, and annoying where as in college most of it was papers and projects. Maybe it’s because I have much more time to finish it but the work I get is what I’m interested in which makes a huge difference.
6. The professors are more strict.
Let me first say my professors have taught me more than I can even begin to explain and you get as much out of them as you put in the work. They aren’t bad at their job and this kind of behavior doesn’t happen a lot but it happens more than your high school teachers wanted you to believe. This is not to discourage professors but to show to high schoolers that college professors are not above being lenient if they want, have or accidentally decide to be. I’ve always been told that late work would not be accepted in middle school when I was in elementary school. It was. I was guaranteed late work would not be accepted in high school. It was. But everyone laughed at me when I asked if it is accepted in college. Not only has it been accepted but it has been accepted without a single point deducted before.
They all made it seem like these professors would not bend the rules one bit. I’ve gotten grade curves of 3 points, redone tests because so many people failed the exam, went from an F to a B from 30 points extra credit, was able to drop my lowest quiz scores in at least 3 classes, wrote several papers about an hour before class with numerous mistakes yet still got an A, had professors offer extra credit just by attending events related to a club they advised, and literally had all the PowerPoint slides that the professor would just read off of in class online along with the study guides in some classes.
They don’t expect you to just keep up with them they will literally stop the PowerPoint slide for you during class to copy notes from them and sometimes the exams are word for word from the notes. This doesn’t mean they don’t have important lessons to teach you, it just means not to think these college professors are above bending over backwards for students when they feel it is necessary. High school teachers like to convince you that college is like that because they couldn’t rise above pandering to their students. This doesn’t mean every class is like that or every professor is like that. I had a professor my sophomore year who almost never looked at the PowerPoint and she just had pictures on each slide. She knew the material inside and out and exactly how to teach it. I wished most professors were like that but many had too much material to go over.
7. Your grades are the most important.
First off, yes grades do matter because you want to stay in college and you don’t want to get careless with them. But to be honest, unless you’re on a scholarship your grades don’t have to be the most important part of college. The most important parts of college will vary for people. My club involvements were much more important to me because my career requires more hands-on experience than just theories. Being a part of The Agency, PRSSA, school paper, TRiO, intern and several others at times were much more of a priority to me. Now that I’m graduating I can safely say I’m proud to have dedicated most of my time and energy into them than just my classes.
When you graduate college, employers care more about your involvement than your grades. There are 4.0 students who get out into the real world and struggle because they have no real experience. Repeat after me everyone; experience over grades! My clubs have prepared me much more than my classes have and even my professors encouraged this on me. They understand knowledge is important but experience is essential so employers can know how comfortable you already are in the field. Professors will often talk about their department sponsored clubs and I suggest you become a part of them immediately. Becoming a president of a club is much better looking on a resume than just a 4.0. Mark my words!
8. College is much harder than high school.
Again everyone’s experience varies but here it is. Looking back, high school was just a numbingly boring cycle of tests, quizzes, and essays on topics I never cared about. I’m not saying I haven’t grown more interested in school over the years, but I always ask myself how I made it through those 8 hour days. Yes, college can be tougher in some areas but the benefits far outweigh the struggles. First off, you don’t have to constantly be working 7 hours straight! You not only can pick your own schedule but you can have hour breaks in between classes and plenty of free time. My freshman year I had so much free time. I always tell everyone I was a part of about 8 clubs. Astronomy club (because I needed help with my astronomy class), TRiO, the paper, The Agency, Free Thought Society (now student secular alliance), PRSSA (briefly then returned my junior year), ALT-TV (briefly then returned my senior year), Pride, and creative writing club (don’t think it’s there anymore). These clubs helped create purpose for me and meet so many interesting people. The workload never usually felt overbearing because it was in subjects I cared about like argumentation, writing, video production and more.
In short, college is much easier, at least to me, because there’s more time, the classes are more interesting and you’re freer. I guess what they forgot to tell you in high school is that the workload may be bigger, the topics may be harder and the responsibility is greater but the benefits will make the process better. I’m one who can handle a big workload if I love the work and know it’s benefiting me. I didn’t care what A squared plus B squared equaled but I did care about how to write a press release and pitch letter. Moral of the story is take what your high school teachers tell you with a grain of salt.
Are there any other myths about college that you’ve learned over time aren’t true? Share in the comments!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.