College Advice Blog

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Apr 24, 2013

5 Common College Myths that Can Trip You Up


The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development did a study in 2010 which indicated that only 46 percent of American college students graduate with a degree. As we can see, obtaining a college degree under normal circumstances is hard enough. Students can make things much worse when they are unable to separate the myths from reality when it comes to going to school.

"College is More Difficult than High School"

The education that a student receives at the college level is usually in line with that student's high school background. What makes college difficult is the loss of the familiar comfort zone that students thrive on in high school. When a child is a teenager in high school, there is a strong support structure in place that includes seeing his parents every night and school administrators assigned to help the child succeed. In college, that security blanket is gone. To adjust, find the balance between campus life and college studies that makes the experience comfortable.

"I Need a Career Path Before College"

Part of the reason that students fail at the college level is the significant amount of pressure that they put on themselves to live up to other people's expectations. The college experience is about discovering new things and understanding what you want to do with your life. Most college students do not decide on their major until after their first year of study. Enjoy the experience and use the resources around you to determine your future path.

"I Can Leave if the Professor is Late"

One of the biggest adjustments that high school students have to make when going to college is being accountable for themselves. In high school, your teacher is waiting for you in each class. In college, professors sometimes show up late for various reasons. The myth that you can leave if the teacher is late is false. In most cases, the class syllabus will outline the rules for a tardy teacher. Read the guidelines and know the real rules.

"I Should Get Electives Out of the Way"

Either you or your parents, or both of you, are investing some kind of money into your college education. The myth that you should take easy electives just to get them over with implies that you should just throw two years of your life, and the financial investment that goes with it, away. Take good classes from teachers that have reputations for making the experience interesting and fun.

"I Must Join a Fraternity or Sorority"

The social college experience is just as important as the education that you will get. But the myth that you must join a fraternity or sorority the moment you get on campus is not true. You should take a look at what the different organizations have to offer and decide if that is what you really want to do. It is your college experience, and you should make the decisions that will help you get the most out of it.

College is a great learning experience in so many different ways. Before you set foot on campus for the first time, you need to debunk some of the most popular myths to make sure you give your college career a good start. 
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