The first year of college or university is full of unknowns. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that it will be one of the most exciting and worthwhile experiences of your life. If you are inching closer to the first year, you might be wondering about those unknowns. You’ve heard the rumors, and you’re wondering what to expect, realistically. We have dispelled 5 key rumors to help ease your anxiety and give you a better perspective on what to expect.
Myth #1: You will party all the time
This could not be further from the truth. You are at college or university to complete an academic program, and that means you need to pay your dues! You can enjoy a social life, but your priority will need to be on studying regularly and completing your assignments, both during the week and on weekends. If you can learn how to balance your work with social time, you will succeed in both areas.
Myth #2: You must join a fraternity or sorority
If you decide fraternities or sororities aren’t your thing, that’s okay, they’re certainly not for everyone! Whether or not you join one will not be a deciding factor for your social life. You can meet new friends and attend parties without belonging to these groups.
Myth #3: You will gain a lot of weight
Not everybody chucks their healthy lifestyle choices when they go to college or university. In fact, many students improve their fitness level and eating habits with the opportunities and learning experiences that college/university provides. Continue to eat your veggies (choose the salads that are available!), nuts and seeds, and healthy protein choices; try to avoid processed and fried foods. Stay physically fit by continuing to pursue fitness activities you enjoyed in the past. For example, keep up your jogging, yoga, and cycling. Go to the gym on campus if did so before.
Myth #4: You will be lost on campus
Finding your classes on campus can be difficult at first, but that doesn’t mean you’ll spend your day (or days) as a lost puppy! Many colleges and universities organize student ambassadors to help guide new students around campus and answer their questions. Hey, you can always use Google maps!
Myth #5: You don’t have to go to class or do the work.
We saved the best for last! This myth is possibly the most absurd. Yes, you need to attend your classes, whether they’re in person or online, and yes, you definitely need to do the work! It can be tempting to skip classes and procrastinate homework because your course instructors are not taking attendance, and they won’t be monitoring you as your high school teachers do. However, you will likely bomb your exams (we’re not trying to scare you!) if you skip class or avoid the homework. After all, how will you absorb and comprehend all that material being covered and tested? If you miss a class for some reason, get notes from a friend (a very good reason to make friends with other students in your classes). There is a word for all of this: responsibility. You won’t have your parents or teachers nagging you-you'll need to nag yourself! Don’t forget, these courses are not cheap—you don’t want to waste money (and time) repeating them.
Bottom line: Look at first year as an opportunity to learn, try new things and discover more about who you are. Keep an open mind, try your best, be responsible, and you will do very well!