If we’re honest with ourselves, most of our preconceived notions about college come from movies and TV shows. Red cup laden parties with an elaborate beer pong set up, roommates from hell used as comic relief, awkward hookups in an extra large twin bed…that’s the Hollywood college. And then we have recent stories in the news about university administrators turning a blind eye to sexual assault, frats going too far with hazing, controversies over trigger warnings and safe spaces on campus, and–of course–ridiculously high tuition costs.
So, what’s college really like? Well, it’s a mixture of the aforementioned and more–some good, some bad. Overall, it’s safe to say that college is an experience that is usually pretty positive for most people (even though student loans are the worst). It’s a time of self-discovery at the most unexpected times, meeting people who change your life, and taking amazing classes that really alter the way you see the world. Still, there are still so many misconceptions about college out there that you probably low key believe. Whether you just started your Freshman year, or college is in your near future, check out these 10 myths about college that you need to stop believing.
You'll Gain The Freshman 15Studies show that you probably won't gain 15 pounds during your freshman year. However, there's a pretty high chance that you'll gain some weight when you start college; on average, freshmen women gain about 2.4 pounds while men gain 3.4 pounds. All that food in the dining hall and stress eating before a big test? Yeah, it happens to a lot of us. The best thing you can do is to keep some healthy snacks on hand, avoid ordering take out so much, and walk around campus as much as possible. Pinterest
Dorm Life Is So Much FunDorm life has its ups and downs. Dorms can be really fun to decorate, and they're the best place to meet new people when you're a freshman. But the downsides--sharing a tiny room with another person, gross communal bathrooms, never being able to just walk around naked without worrying someone else will come in, hearing people having sex down the hall--get pretty old pretty fast. You'll either want to live in a single dorm for the remainder of your college career, or you'll want to move off campus, live with a couple of roommates, and have a little more control over your living situation. LIFE
You're Going To Have A Lot Of HookupsFact: A lot of people have sex in college. Myth: A lot of people have a lot of sex in college. Listen, you might hook up with someone, you might not. College is full of people having sex but it's full of people who aren't getting any either, not because they're not appealing or interested, but because life is funny sometimes. I personally happened to get through college without having sex or having a relationship, and I know for a fact that I'm not alone. So, as much as people are getting it in, you'd be surprised by just how many people aren't. So don't feel insecure if you aren't booin' up with anyone. Cry Baby
Every Party Is A Total RagerNot every college party is a red Solo cup paradise, believe it or not. I know, movies and TV shows prove otherwise, but a lot of the parties you go to won't necessarily be full of people playing beer pong and doing keg stands or cost thousands and thousands of dollars like you might have seen in Neighbors. Some are a lot more low key, others are more wild, and most...well, most might be more like a kickback between you and some friends. But I assure you that the average college party is nothing like anything you've seen in pop culture; they're a lot more boring. 22 Jump Street
Studying 'Liberal Arts' Or Other Creative Studies Won't Land You A JobThis drives me crazy, but I hear it all the time. There are people out there who insist that studying things like philosophy, art history, English, etc, are useless majors because you won't end up with a good paying job after college. Reality check: Not everyone is going to study biology and become a doctor, or be a nursing major, or end up in the STEM program in the hopes of starting a sweet start up. Plus, jobs are hard for so many people to get these days; even people who are fresh out of law school have a hard time getting employed. Meanwhile, I know people who studied English who have steady jobs, and I know someone who studied philosophy who is making bank. It's important to know that what you studied in college won't necessarily determine your career path, and that's okay. But don't let people--especially not your parents--pressure you to study something you don't want to study just because of potential job prospects. Dear White People
Sororities Are CrazyOkay, I'll be the first to admit that sororities aren't my thing. The fact that Greek life in general has perpetuated rape culture, promoted hazing, and embraced racist and other discriminatory actions as a part of its member selecting process is bad enough, those alarmingly high budget recruiting videos take the cringe factor over the top. But it's really important to know that not every single sorority is totally hellish. Some are obviously really intense, but others are really chill and aren't going to exclude you from membership just because you aren't a size four. So if you're interested in joining one, choose wisely. If you're super anti-sororities, don't assume the worst of people who are in them. Legally Blonde
College Is Where You'll Finally Be Around Mature PeopleLOL, okay, I wish this was true. Sure, you're not around a bunch of high schoolers anymore, which is a big step in the right direction when it comes to being around more mature people. But you'll find people in college who are similarly ignorant, petty, and immature as you did in your 10th grade homeroom. The great thing about college, however, is that you can find like minded people pretty quickly if you pay attention during class discussions, join campus organizations, etc. Oh, and stay away from people who display mean girl tendencies; they're emotionally stunted and can't get over the fact that it's not high school anymore. Animal House
You'll Easily Make Lasting FriendshipsThis might take you a little longer than you think. Some of the easiest friends to make are people who live on the same floor as you during your freshman year. You'll see each other a lot and maybe you'll decide to go down to the dining hall together during those first few weeks. Otherwise, making friends in class could take a little longer, even though you might have more in common with them than the girl you happen to see in the communal bathroom. Still, don't be discouraged if you don't have a BFF by winter break. I didn't make any friends beyond acquaintences until my second semester, and I usually make friends SUPER easily. College relationships are weird and can be pretty fleeting, so just remember to roll with the punches. A Different World
You'll Be Taking Classes You Actually Want To TakeIt really depends on your school and your program. But many majors will have pre-requisite and mandatory courses that you have to take to graduate. I studied journalism and minored in political science, but I had to take two math courses and even a few P.E. courses to graduate! The best thing you can do is get all those pesky classes out of the way when you're a freshman, so you can spend the rest of your college career taking classes you actually want to take. Pinterest
College Isn't Complete Without A Crazy Spring BreakUm, yeah, so, you really won't be missing out on too much if you're not in Miami or Cancun for spring break. Sure, people have fun wildin' out during spring break, but don't get caught up in the hype. It can also be a huge money suck and a week long hangover, and no amount of dance music can make that fun. If a beach getaway doesn't seem possible, consider getting a quick trip home or visiting your friend at her college. Or, just chill on campus for the week, focus on yourself, and enjoy the peace and quiet while you can. Spring Breakers
What did you always think college would be like? Have you been proven right or wrong yet? Tell us in the comments!