Freshman year of college is full of unknowns.
Nevertheless, getting accepted into college will be one of the most exciting, rewarding experiences of your life. You deserve a big pat on the back for that one. But in the months after your acceptance letter arrives, the euphoria starts to slip away. You start thinking about all of unknowns of the upcoming year, and you may freak out a little bit. You’ve heard ubiquitous rumors about the ominous freshman year of college, but you have no idea what to really expect.
I’m here to straighten out some of the most common myths about freshman year. Don’t be afraid, college will be amazing.
1. You will either be best friends or enemies with your roommate.
I bet you can picture your roommate as your best friend right now. You're thinking about matching duvet covers perhaps, or watching every football game and eating chips together. You think you will go everywhere with your roommate, and will never eat a meal without him or her.
You also may be picturing a horribly messy, loud, and unfriendly person who happens to live 10 feet away from you. They leave old food out on their desk, play loud music without headphones, and invite friends over without your consent. You will avoid your room as much as possible so you don’t ever have to see that awful creature.
Truth is, both myths are extremes. If you end up liking your roommate, that is great. Some roommates do become best friends. But in reality, you will have a larger group of friends, and you won’t need to rely on this one person to make your freshman year better. It is also very, very unlikely that you will strongly dislike your roommate. Colleges try their hardest to match you with someone compatible. You may not choose to spend time with each other, but you will be able to stand your roommate. You won’t be avoiding your dorm room at all.
Have faith that you will be able to live peacefully with your roommate, no matter who they are. Stop torturing yourself by thinking of the extremes, and think realistically.
2. You will spend all your time partying or having fun. No parents!
Unfortunately, this is not the case. While the social scenes of colleges vary, you will be working towards a degree- and this is never easy! You can look forward to being social, but also make sure to daydream about those long days in the library as well. You will need to dedicate a lot of time to studying, both during the week and weekend. If you don’t, you will get bad grades. It is that simple. Learn how to balance work and fun, and you will be successful.
3. You will gain 15 pounds (at least).
This myth also varies depending on the person. If you are 6’8”, adding 15 pounds to your frame won’t even be noticeable. No matter your size or height, though, in most cases, it takes work to gain this much weight in a year. You would really need to fit the fry station hard. Just because you’re in college and you don’t have your parents around to make healthy choices for you, you can’t abandon all of your healthy habits. Try to eat at least one or two green things a day, and put a limit on fried food consumption. If you love sports in high school, don’t give this up in college! Join a club sport or take daily jogs. Take time for fitness and health, and you will feel a lot better, and you probably won't have any problems with your weight. In the end, your health is more important than a number on the scale.
4. You will only take the coolest classes offered.
I bet you heard all about the awesome courses available when you visited your future college. Wine and beer tasting, cooking and film classes are some examples. Problem is, almost every other student also wants to take these classes. It is very hard to get into popular classes as a freshman because older students register before you. You will be able to take these classes at some point during your college career, but probably not freshman year. They will be worth the wait.
There are also requirements. Yes, requirements. Most colleges require certain classes to graduate. Language, math, science, social studies and writing are some of the most common requirements. Yes, it is rare that you are interested in all of these things, and you probably thought you would never have to take math again. Thankfully, you will be able to choose from many classes in each discipline. Think, “Statistics of Environmental Science,” instead of “Calculus IV.” Colleges try to make classes as interesting as possible in all cases.
5. You don’t have to go to big lecture classes. Or do the homework.
The bigger the college you attend, the bigger your classes will be. These classes could range from 50 students to 200, depending on the subject or popularity. It will be tempting to skip these classes and push the homework aside because your attendance will not be taken and assignments will not be checked. These classes are also probably at 9 in the morning. But, unless you are a psychic or Albert Einstein, you will not do well on the exams if you don’t go to class or don’t do the homework. Since these big classes don’t collect small assignments, your whole grade will be based on two or three exams. The more you go to class, the better you will do. If you miss a class for some reason, make sure to get notes from a friend.
College is a time for exploring the unknown- so don't be afraid! Be open to spontaneity, and freshman year will be a breeze.