College has a lot of things being said about it — and there are many myths out there that can scare freshmen like crazy. When I was going into my freshman year, I was so frightened of what was going to happen and being on my own for the first time. Going through a few years of school, I am here to tell you guys that it will be okay. Everyone has different experiences, but college is what you make of it. It will be a lot easier for you all to not have complete preconceptions about how it SHOULD be. Here are my experiences with the myths that we have all come so accustomed to. So, let's start off with a big one...
Freshman 15 is inevitableGiphy
It is common knowledge that people gain weight when they go to college. This is usually because of the idea of unhealthy food being all that is available at the start of their college careers. However, I found that in my freshman year, I actually lost weight. I found that not having the readily available snack foods, like what I had at home, factored into me sticking to a few meals a day at the dining center and causing me to not gain any weight. Being a dance major, I was also very active. But even if I wasn't a dance major, I still would have been walking everywhere and that walking did me very well. Key to not getting the freshman 15 is taking care of yourself and staying active.
Professors all have extremely strict guidelines and due datesGiphy
Yes, in college. there are some teachers that are very strict with their due dates, but there are also some that are not. You will have a wide range of professors with different teaching styles and it really just depends on what class you get put in. I've had everywhere from teachers who will not give accept anything after the due date with no exceptions, while I've also had professors who will let you turn things in at any time as long as they are in before the final. Expect to be pushed for due dates and don't take too much advantage of the more relaxed teachers.
You will graduate in four yearsGiphy
Everyone has a different path — and that is OK! College doesn't work the same for everyone. You need to work at your own pace. For example, I'm on a five-year plan, which is perfectly normal. There are so many factors that could keep you from graduating with the freshman class you came in with, but it doesn't take away from the validity of the degree you're going to get. I want everyone to know that the minute you walk across that stage and shake that hand, it will feel absolutely rewarding to see the hard work pay off, regardless of when it is.
You have to come into Freshman year knowing your majorGiphy
Some people have known what they want to be forever. For some, it takes a little bit longer. I know people who have come in as one major and completely switched to a different one. It is okay to come in undecided and take all of your gen eds. That way, you can take some classes and truly see what your interests are. I came into school with my heart set on double majoring in dance and teaching, but that wasn't what I fell into. When I decided on a second major, I decided on political science, which is definitely far from anything I saw myself involved in when I was a freshman. Like I said before, everyone has a different path and you don't have to be sure of it the second you walk onto campus.
Your friends from high school will stay your friends foreverGiphy
Yes, you made numerous friends in high school that watched you grow up and thought they would be there for the rest of your life. That is true for some, but you need to come to terms with the fact that a lot of you aren't going to the same places and you're all going to meet new people and make new friends. The people in your life are constantly changing — a natural thing. Don't feel like your life is going to be over because your high school best friend is posting on her Instagram with all her new college friends, and you aren't making any because no one can have the same bond as you two. Go out and make those new friends! Don't be held back by high school. You can stay friends without preventing yourself from moving forward.
College is a big party, all day, everydayGiphy
I'm not gonna lie to you: I have been to my fair share of parties and am used to going out Wednesday-Saturday nights, but that doesn't mean that I don't work my butt off before I even think of leaving my room to go out. Partying every day is what Welcome Week is for. After that, you need to get serious about school before you have the luxury of partying. And look, if you don't want to party, you don't have to! There is nothing that says you have to go out and party or drink at parties. People go through school partying sober and just staying home, in general, all the time! It is all your choice.
Community college isn't as good as a universityGiphy
Community college is just as good. EVERYONE HAS A DIFFERENT PATH! If you aren't sure what you want to do or if money is tight, community college is a great option for you! Stop lowering people for not choosing a four-year university because they're going to do what is right for them. You can gladly do what is right for you.
You have to get straight As to succeedGiphy
Hey, college is hard. Straight As are great and everything, but your report card isn't going to show up on your degree. If you get a C, or even if you fail a class, you know to work harder next time and know it isn't the end of the world. Your education is still strong and you still got this. Never give up because of a few bad grades.
People care what you did in high schoolGiphy
High school is OVER! No one cares who you were back then. You have moved on to a new place and you can use this as an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Forget what happened back then and look at the new. It is like getting a clean slate and it feels oh so good — make the most of it.
You meet all your friends the first weekGiphy
The new friends you make your first week can stay your friends forever. If I'm being honest, looking back at it, the only friend I still have from my first week here and I don't hang out or talk ever and the other friends I made all aren't in school anymore here, so a lot can change. I'm constantly making new friends and making new relationships and it'll never stop.
I hope this stands as a breath of fresh air for some of you who are afraid of what is to come this next year. Don't fret and be yourself. Staying true to you is what is going to get you through your time in college.