College has officially started and you've been experiencing the culture for a few days, weeks, months or years now. Growing up, we've been exposed to the college culture through social media, movies and stories from siblings, friends and family. However, you've probably noticed that college isn't what the movies and stories make it out to be. Shocking? Not at all. Every college experience is different for every individual, but here are some common misconceptions we have always believed before actually experiencing college ourselves.
1. All your professors will be crazy strict and professional at all times.
"I thought professors would always be extremely strict, but a lot of them are just dudes hanging out too." - Anna, Class of 2020
High school teachers always rave about how professional, strict and harsh professors in college will be. However, you've probably noticed that a lot of the professors you will encounter are just regular and normal. They show up late, forget things and sometimes even cancel class because they're tired.
2. Everyone drinks and parties all the time.
"I always thought college weekends were filled with Zac Efrons running around everywhere, getting drunk and jumping off things." -Isabel, Class of 2019
A lot of college students don't party all the time. The occasional fun is required to not be overwhelmed by all the college stress, but it's totally normal to not go out every weekend. Spend your extra time doing whatever you want, because honestly, doing what you want is the biggest perk of independent college life!
3. You'll find your soulmate in college.
"I honestly thought I'd meet the love of my life by now, but I'm too busy studying to date." - Amanda, Class of 2020
You always hear those "we met in college" love stories. However, do not feel pressured to find the love of your life while in college. It definitely should not be a priority! You're paying good money to get a good education, the love of your life can wait until you build a stable career for yourself!
4. Your GPA defines you.
"In high school, ranking was always super competitive and everyone was always asking for my grades and GPA. No one in college really cares." -Alex, Class of 2021
Going to college, you go from a student population of 1,000 or less to a student population of 10,000 or more. No one has time to care about their ranks and how their GPA compares to others. Of course keeping your grades and GPA up are always good, but it's not what college is all about!
5. You need to know what you want to major in before your first year is over.
"I was always pressured to know what I wanted to do, but honestly, I probably won't know for a few more years." - Austin, Class of 2020
Many people have no idea what they want to major in or what they want to do after college and that's so normal! There are people who are set on a major by the end of their senior year of high school, but it's honestly no big deal if you have no clue. College lets you experiment with different classes and gives you a lot of information to help with your decision. Take your time!
6. Participating in Greek life is the only way to make friends.
"I didn't join Greek life, but I've made really great friends through clubs and other stuff too." - Jasmine, Class of 2021
Greek life is always glorified in movies to be the only way to make friendships for life. Not so surprisingly, there are so many other options! Clubs are a great way to make friends and a great way to ensure common interests!
7. Dorms are the worst.
"Yeah, my dorm is a bit small and the bathrooms are kind of yikes, but dorms are not too bad! We decorated our dorm to be cozy and I've made so many friends through my floor!" - Katy, Class of 2021
Okay, true, dorms are kind of gross, BUT they become an automatic community. Having friends on your floor is super fun and very convenient. Also, if you decorate your dorm nicely, it'll start feeling like home!
8. Everyone knows what they're doing but me.
"Everyone is a mess in college. Literally, everyone." -Edmund, Class of 2020
College kids are great at pretending that they know what they're doing, but honestly, 99% of us have no clue what's going on half the time. Learning and growing is essential in college. Don't be afraid to not know what you're doing, you'll figure it out soon enough!
9. You have to be completely independent once you're in college.
"I try to do things on my own, but I do have to call my parents or siblings once in a while for some help." - Candice, Class of 2019
Again, no one knows what they're doing in college. Calling your mom on the weekends to ask about which laundry detergent to use is completely fine and encouraged. You don't want to ruin your fancy clothes before the networking event tomorrow night!
10. College will be the best four years of your life.
"I'm not sure if college really is going to be the best years of my life. I mean, I'm pretty excited for when I'm old and retired and living in Hawaii or something." -Joyce, Class of 2020
Not everyone has the same college experiences. Some people do have the best time of their lives in college, but some people just experience it as just another part of life. Personally, I know college is and will be super fun and cool, but I'm more excited for my life after retirement in like 70 years when I'm traveling the world without a care in the world.
Don't base your knowledge on college culture through movies and media. The college experience is unique to every person! Don't be upset or stressed if your college life isn't crazy or wild enough to hit the big screen. Make college YOURS, how you WANT and have fun. You got this!
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