Everyone’s college experience is different, but there are plenty of false impressions floating around that can make the idea of going to college seem like a scary or worrisome experience. However, a lot of those myths can be busted.
Here are some common misconceptions you’ve probably encountered:
College is just one big party.
Hollywood sure makes it seem that way but, in reality, your academics and activities will take up the majority of your time. Don’t worry though – you’ll also have plenty of fun along the way.
If I don’t fit in or feel at home right away, I should transfer.
Nobody feels at home right away. You have to make new friends and adjust to a new place. It’s important to give yourself some time to get in the groove and make it your home.
You have to be best friends with your roommate.
Everyone has heard those fairy tale roommate stories, but the reality is that doesn’t always happen. If you and your roommate aren’t best friends, that’s perfectly OK. The important part is that you both feel comfortable in your living situation.
You can’t talk to your professors or ask for help.
This isn’t at all true. If you need help or have questions, your professors will assist you. They have office hours set aside for students, and they’re rooting for your success just as much as you are.
I will have way more free time than high school, so I can still be in just as many activities.
Some people are able to balance co-curriculars and academics really well and others are not, but everyone’s experience is different. Finding the balance will be up to you. Certainly get involved, but don’t get so involved that you feel like you’re drowning.
I don’t have to go to classes if they aren’t important.
At Concordia, professors expect you to be in class. Many are understanding if you get sick, have an emergency, or need to be away for athletics or music. However, you’re paying for those classes and your academic success often hinges on attendance, so don’t write off the classes that you feel aren’t important because you will learn something. Every class has its purpose.
Upperclassmen hate first-year students just like in high school.
This simply isn’t true. In college, everyone is an adult, so the age gap is seen much differently than when you were in high school. It’s really common for people to have friends in all class years and I encourage it! You can learn a lot from upperclassmen and everyone is viewed as a peer rather than by their graduating year.
Every night will be an all nighter and that’s OK because it’s college.
Time management is a major key to success in college. The majority of students don’t pull all nighters (I’m entering my senior year and have never had to) and those who choose to don’t do it all the time. So have no fear! You will get some sleep.
I didn’t have to study in high school so I won’t have to in college either.
Please don’t have this mentality. Study. I went in thinking this, and first semester freshman year was a kick in the rear. Stay ahead of the game and develop good study habits early on.
I have to have it all figured out right when I start.
Change your major once, change it twice, change it three times if you need to! Only a small percentage of people have it “figured out” right away. There are plenty of resources and people on campus who will guide you in figuring everything out and still get you out in four years or less. I changed my major at the end of freshman year, didn’t come in with very many college credits, and am graduating in 3.5 years, so there is hope. :)
The freshman 15 is inevitable.
While it is very real, it isn’t inevitable. Just be conscientious about how much you’re eating (it’s easy to go overboard in Dining Services) and visit Olson Forum to work out every once in awhile.
I will never have as close of friends as I did in high school.
Truth be told, you will probably make even better friends. Going to college doesn’t mean you can’t still be lifelong pals with your high school friends, but rest assured you will make great friends in college as well!
Grace Bateman '17 is a communication studies major and business minor at Concordia.