Throughout high school, we have been told numerous lies about college. It seems that what we’ve been told is much different than how college really is.
Lie #1: We’ve been told that college is hard–ridiculously hard. But according to Emily Grier in USA Today College, this is a lie. She believes that our high school teachers use the line “if you think this is hard, wait ‘till college” only as motivation to complete our high school work, for this phrase causes us to snap to attention. But in reality, high school is just as hard, if not harder than college work.
A college student mentioned on Business Insider, “I had an AP [teacher] in high school [who] would give us hours of homework a night and she said it was nothing compared to college classes…I minored in History and Government in college and I never had that much work from any class.”
Lie #2 comes along with the phrase “Study, sleep, party; choose two of the three”. When people say college, we either imagine constant partying or perpetual studying long into the hours of the night. But is this really true? College is about time management–students spend their time as they want to. Grier describes that students can have it all–study, sleep, and still have free time.
Which then brings up Lie #3–that college students have no free time. But in reality, they have as much free time in their day as they plan for.
There is more lax time in college, because in high school the classes might be easier (or even harder) than college classes, but in high school we have them one after another after another. We don’t have any breaks in between. Once we finish the school day, we move on to after school sports, clubs, work, homework, everything and don’t really finish our day until late at night.
In college, we’ll have two or three classes a day with hours of break time in between. We won’t be swamped busy all the time like we are now.
Lie #4: I was surprised to read (on multiple accounts) that the dream college doesn’t exist. “…[you] choose a campus in the middle of nowhere because the views are beautiful, only to realize you don’t love to ski and driving 45 minutes just to get to Denny’s is making you a little stir-crazy,” wrote Naomi Riley in the NY Post.
Even Grier mentions that in the long run, not getting into the “perfect” college doesn’t mean that life will quickly spiral downwards. If I attend a prestigious school, that doesn’t necessarily mean my phone will be ringing off the hook with job offers. No matter the school, there will be job opportunities for those who are dedicated and motivated.
Lie #5: We have to choose the major that will determine the rest of our lives. Lie! Riley mentioned that “Just because you excelled in high-school English doesn’t mean you’re destined to be a literature major.” My mom was a psychology major, yet years later she found herself working at a photography studio keeping up with the accounting books. She went back to school and now has a shiny new accounting degree.
Lie #6: That we should sign up for the most rigorous classes the school offers. Christiana Quinn stated in GoLocalProv that “competitive colleges do want to see honors and AP courses on your transcript. However, they don’t need to see 5 every year.” It’s also important for us to score well in these higher level classes, for colleges don’t want to see D’s and F’s because that shows that we aren’t quite ready for those college-level classes.
Lie #7: The college years are the best of your life. Grier made a slight adjustment to this statement to make it more accurate, that the college years are the most unique of a lifetime. It’s in those four or so years when we can truly concentrate on ourselves and change the path of our futures much easier than any other time. But wouldn’t it be wrong to say that those years will be the best of our lives?
Grier so perfectly stated it as “while these probably aren’t the best years of your life, I think we can all agree that they’re definitely the best years yet.”