Throughout high school, you hear a lot of things about college life, both good and bad. In my experiences thus far, I’ve found a lot of them to be pretty inaccurate, at least for me. Here are some of the myths about going to college and how I’m debunking them.
1. You’ll feel homesick no matter what.
Okay, this “myth” is 100% different for every single person going to college, but I’m here to attest to the fact that homesickness doesn’t happen to everyone. Yes, moving away is a big deal. Yes, many people are going to get very homesick, and many people are going to have a really hard time adjusting. And that’s perfectly okay. But by no means is that the case for all of us. I love my family, I like my hometown, and I certainly miss things like driving, my dogs, and not having to wear flip flops in the shower, but on the whole, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. It may be because I’ve had prior experience in leaving home for extended amounts of time and never got homesick then, but it just hasn’t been a problem despite the fact that I love it at home too. I’m also a highly independent person to begin with, and I think I’ve been ready to make the transition for a while. Nobody will react in the same way, but so far, missing home hasn’t been an issue for me.
2. It’ll be a really hard transition (academically).
Like myth #1, this is dependent on a multitude of factors. Obviously, college is a completely new lifestyle and there are new expectations, responsibilities, and opportunities. However, just because more is expected of you doesn’t mean you’ll have trouble adapting. Surprisingly, I didn’t find it challenging to switch from high school classes to college classes. Of course, depending upon the rigor of your schedule/program, you might feel differently. By taking four classes, I’m not overwhelming myself, and I’m immensely satisfied with my load. The work for my classes is undoubtedly a step up from high school classes, but it’s all significant (aka not busy work). If you’re accustomed to working hard, you probably won’t find the change as difficult as you might think.
3. It’ll be a really hard transition (otherwise).
Also dependent on several things. The first month or so of college is a whirlwind of meeting new people and trying to find a niche. It’s scary to know next to nobody starting out, but keeping a level head is the key to overcoming almost every insecurity a freshman can encounter. If you feel like everybody else has their entire life figured out, it’s crucial to remember that they don’t. Nobody has a perfect life after just one month of college (or ever, for that matter), and anyone who thinks they do will likely feel differently at some point. Additionally, if you’re comfortable spending time alone, it probably won’t bother you to have to eat lunch alone every once in a while. In fact, I like eating by myself most of the time, and the best part about it is that nobody cares–nobody’s even paying attention. Recognizing that other people are just as lost as you are can do a lot to combat the loneliness or stress of freshman year because no matter how it looks, most everybody is trying just as hard as you are to make sense of their new life.
4. The Freshman 15
I can’t fully debunk this myth because it’s only been 2 months, but so far I don’t consider this a problem. I think 15 pounds is a stretch to begin with; maybe 5ish pounds is more realistic. That being said, it’s pretty easy to maintain the weight you start out with. I find portion sizes easier to control in the dining hall, and there’s always a salad bar or (even better) Trillium salads, given you can beat the line. The biggest factor that’ll contribute to the “Freshman 15” is probably excessive drinking, and as long as you don’t overdo it all the time, even that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Making sure you’re still eating a balanced diet can go a long way, and I can attest to that because I haven’t gone to the gym once but I also haven’t gained any weight. A little bit of weight gain is natural, but paying careful attention to eating habits is a relatively easy way to make sure you don’t pack it on.
Since it’s only been about two months, there are many myths I can’t quite debunk yet. However, I like this theme and might turn it into a series sort of thing. If you have any “myth” suggestions, please leave them in the comments!