Myths about college life

Sam Baxter is currently a sophomore Pre-Business major at Texas Christian University. He is a third generation Horned Frog and loves everything TCU related. During the year, he stays busy by being involved in various things around campus. He is a Program Assistant in Student Development Services, a member of the BNSF Next Generation Leadership Program, a tour guide, a member of a social fraternity, and this past summer he served as an Orientation Leader for incoming first year students.

Going off to college can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many things that are lurking for your attention, and finding the right balance is hard. You hear so many stories from older friends, parents, and relatives who have all walked in the same shoes before you, but they all give you mixed feelings on what college will be like. Here is a list of Six Myths you may have heard, and why you shouldn’t be nervous about coming to college.

Myth #1: You must come to college knowing your major or minor.
This is FALSE! The classes you take your first few semesters are designed to help you decide what you want to focus your studies on. I know plenty of people who have changed their major 3 or more times and they are still doing great.

Myth #2: College is harder than high school.
This is a common misconception. College is hard, and that is the point, it is designed to make you think and to get you to learn in new ways. Many times you wont have the busy work and pointless worksheets to do each night, so you have to develop a different way to study. BUT your classes will be subjects you care about, making the studying enjoyable. Also, you can pick the classes you take, which gives you the flexibility you didn’t have in high school.

Myth #3: Dorm life is terrible.
Dorms have come a long way since your parents went to college. Many colleges and universities are now starting to call them residence halls, because they are more than just buildings with a bunch of beds. They are environments designed to foster community and get you connected with your peers. In my first year residence hall, I was able to meet so many people and it really enhanced my experience, even though I had heard horror stories of other people’s experiences.

Myth #4: Skipping class doesn’t matter.
At many colleges and universities, you will be in classes with a large number of students, and chances are your professor will not know your name. At others, you will be in classes full of 30 students, and your professor will know your name by the second class. Either way, there is valuable information professors provide in class that is not in your textbook, and most of the time this information turns in to test questions. Yeah, the 8am’s are hard to wake up for, but they are worth it when you get those points on your test because you decided to simply go to class. DON’T SKIP, the extra hour of sleep isn’t worth it.

Myth #5: Professors are scary.
WRONG. Professors are there to help you. Whether you have a quick question on the homework, or have a question about what you want to be when you grow up, professors are there as a guide. USE THEM. Most of them have more experience than you can even fathom, so they are a great resource, and if you get to know them, chances are they can connect you with people in your intended field.

Myth #6: You need to join every organization on your campus.
Ain’t nobody got time for that. I did not say don’t get involved. GET INVOLVED. There are numerous studies that have proven the more involved a student gets on campus, the better their college experience. This means you should pick two or three clubs or organizations that spark your interest, and then get involved in them. Employers love to see you are smart, but they also want you to be a balanced student, and the way to show them this is to be involved. By choosing two or three, this enables you to get a great college experience, but also doesn’t spread your time too thin.

I hope these tips have been helpful. If you have any questions or want to chat more about what college is like, how to succeed in your first year, or just want to know more about me, you can find me on Twitter and Instagram @sam_baxter2 or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/samsbaxter.

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