Monday, March 11, 2013

10 College Myths

1. It’s better to get good grades, rather than take challenging courses:

          In high school, grades and GPA was a big deal, but now that you're in college your goals should be a bit different.  Don’t get me wrong, GPA and grades are definitely something that you need to watch and try to keep at an above-average level, but don’t suppress the classes you’re taking because you don’t want to suppress your GPA.  The goal of college is to get you the experience and knowledge to start your career.  If you go in for a job interview; they may pay attention to your GPA, but they are going to put more stress on your experiences and skills.

2. I need to decide on a future career/major before I start college:

          This one always makes me laugh, because I believed it until about a month ago.  When I first started at Wesleyan, I was ready to get into Political Science classes; instead of being open and trying a few general education classes to see what I like.  I've now taken 3 Poli-Sci classes that may or may not be effective in my final degree.  Sure, they are gonna be awesome electives, but I took criminal justice classes in high school for that.  I’m now an official ‘dud’ student.  No, that’s not an official term, but I think it fits me well.  I have no declared major, and I am currently undecided in what I may declare in the future.  I plan to finish this semester of classes, and then take some different general education classes that will hopefully ‘spark some interest’.  Don’t stress too much on the major either, a lot of the time your major doesn't even have anything in common with your chosen career.  As long as you have that degree in something legit (not underwater basket-weaving), you should be able to find a job (don’t forget to add determination and motivation).

3.  Big colleges are best if you haven't decided on a major field.

          Not true whatsoever.  There are a large amount of people who believe that going to a bigger college, that has a larger variety of classes, is the best idea if you are currently undecided.  True, if you have a larger amount of majors to sift through, you should be able to find at least something that you love.  However, there are other factors to consider.  One thing to look at is the advising and career counseling programs of the university/college.  Don’t just try any class that sound interesting without some kind of system.  By meeting with a good adviser or counselor, you should be able to get into some classes that will not only spark your interests, but also be helpful towards some sort of degree (gen. eds.).  A key word I would look for is a Liberal Arts Education.  Wesleyan (the school I am currently attending) prides itself on a Liberal Arts Education.  This means that they offer specific major degrees, but while getting your degree you will experience a broader education.  A Liberal Arts Education exposes students to an extensive range of academic subjects.  This wider education can be seen as a bonus for future employers, because it shows flexibility in the research you may be able to do.

4.  College is only for 4 years.

          Ha.  Haha.  That actually made me laugh out loud (lol).  Now, don’t get me wrong, it is COMPLETELY possible.  Especially now that a lot of colleges are instilling a 4-Year promise.  Wesleyan is also jumping on this boat for next year’s freshmen.  Next year’s class will be given the promise that if they do not graduate in 4 years, then Wesleyan will pay for the rest of their degree.  However, you have to fill a large number of standards.  Music education majors?  NO way!  You don’t even get the choice.  There are a number of other majors that need more than four years no matter how hard you try to finish early.  I’m lucky because I basically came into school as  sophomore, but I want to study abroad, so that will set me back.  Along with that, if you decided to switch your major, that can set you back even farther.  According to, only about 37.8% of students graduated in 4 years, and only about 58.1% of students graduated in 6 years.  No worries, if you don’t graduate in 4 years; you’re not alone.  I’ll probably be in the same boat.

5.  All freshman gain 15 pounds

          Oh, the dreaded Freshman 15.  I hate this awful ‘theory’.  Honestly though, some people freak out about it so much that it becomes a serious problem.  Yes, it is found that some people gain weight when they go off to college, but it is easy to manage as long as you balance the extra ice cream with exercise.  Actually, however, a lot of people lose weight when they move to college.  Walking to classes and taking the stairs usually adds a lot of exercising and burning of calories.  Not only that, but the stress of moving away from home and starting classes can cause people to ‘stress away’ the weight.  It’s easier to gain weight because of the extra choices now at your disposal, but it’s also easier to lose weight because you will more than likely have access to the campus work-out facility.  I know a few people who lost a lot of excess weight because they utilized the facility.  Just stay smart, use common sense, and use your resources. 

6.  Roommate compatibility forms work perfectly:

          Thankfully, I didn’t have to fill out one of those dreadful things.  I met my roommate while participating in a ‘prospective students’ program that my college held.  We were in the same group, and were able to hold a normal conversation.  That night, we made it official through text messaging, and I had a roommate!  It has worked out great, and I don’t think I could ask for a better roommate (especially when she brings me Chinese food).  I do know, however, that some people got roommates that are the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of them.  I have two friends who never really talked the entire first few months of school.  It’s not that they didn’t like each other, it’s more that they didn’t have anything in common to talk about.  They’re good friends now and plan to room together along with my roommate and I next year, but still… you’d think the forms would assure you a roommate that at least has SOMETHING in common with you.  I've actually heard of people almost getting into fist fights with their roommates!  That’s crazy!  If you have to fill out a roommate compatibility form, don’t expect too much.  Sometimes you’ll get lucky, but I think you’re best bet is to find the university’s Facebook page and try to find someone through that. 

7.  College is a constant party:

          If you’re definition of a party is a cup of coffee and a philosophy book, then Yea!  Party Hard!  Seriously though, if you come to college just to party, you are in for a rude awakening.  Sure, at college there are parties, but you know what else is at college? 20-page readings. 10-30 page-written essays. Daily pop quizzes.  If you came to party, do you really think you’re prepared for these obstacles? I didn’t think so.  The goal of a university/college is to prepare you for your future career.  Last time I checked, there wasn't a job market for professional partiers… Sorry

8.  College is easier/harder than high school:

          Instead of using the word ‘harder’ or ‘easier’, I’d like to use the word ‘different’.  College is the first time you’ll be on your own to decide when you study or even IF you study.  You won’t have your parents breathing down you neck the entire time.  The hardest part of college is trying to handle your new-found independence without taking advantage of it.  Key term: Time Management!

9.  Private university students are snobs

          I get a kick out of this one, because I actually attend a private university.  You’re gonna have snobby people no matter where you go, but the school is not the cause of it; it’s the person.  There are many different reasons someone may go to a private school.  I go to Wesleyan because I felt the most comfortable here than I did anywhere else I visited.  If someone thinks they’re better than everyone else, it’s because of their upbringing: NOT because of the school they go to.

10.  Professors are old and mean.

          I’m not COMPLETELY disagreeing with the word ‘old’. Haha!  In my two semesters of experience, there are such a wide variety of teachers, that you’re likely to experience all of them.  I can honestly say, however, that I have yet to meet a mean professor.  Sure, there’s a few professors that I don’t like, but that has to do with their teaching style and not their personality.  Remember: a lot of professors didn’t go to school for education.  They might not of planned to become a professor at all, but they became experts in their fields and THEN became certified to teach.  You’re not always going to get quality teachers, but you will get someone who knows a lot about the subject and that is sometimes a better deal.

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