As you prepare for your freshman year of college – and especially after you arrive on campus – you will hear quite a few urban legends and other fantastical tales. Knowing the difference between myths and facts (or, at least, possibilities) can help you navigate uncertain waters. So, today we’re sharing a few of the more common freshman tales with you, and breaking them down into facts or fiction.
The Freshman Fifteen: Everyone gains 15 pounds during their first semester!
Status: Half fact, half fiction. Theoretically, this could be true for you, and it has definitely happened to others. But the assertion that it happens to “everyone” is false. It’s more likely that once students move away from Mom’s home cooking, and are presented with a wide selection of readily available fast food, some simply over-indulge a bit. But there’s no guarantee this will happen to you, especially if you continue healthy eating and exercise practices.
No Homework: Every high school senior looks forward to college, when homework is no longer required.
Status: Mostly fiction. We say mostly, because technically nothing is “required” of you in college. You aren’t required to be there; you choose to be there. Your professors won’t call your parents and schedule a parent-teacher conference, and you won’t get grounded if you don’t do your homework. However, you will earn less than stellar grades, or possibly even flunk out. So do your assignments.
Party Schools Are Easier: If you choose a party school, you can just coast and have fun.
Status: This falls into the category of, “Um, NO”, otherwise known as a myth. Yes, some schools have a reputation as party schools, probably due to a large student population that does not go home on weekends. But as with any other university, if you don’t put in the study time, you won’t earn the grades you want.
The Personal Tragedy: If your roommate dies/you’re hit by a car/something else traumatic happens, you get automatic As for all of your classes.
Status: Every school has its version of this urban legend. At some point, someone will tell you (with a completely straight face) that if your roommate dies, or you’re hit by a car, you will receive automatic As in all of your classes that semester.
We probably don’t have to tell you this is a myth. But we’re telling you anyway, because you’re going to hear this story so often that you might even feel tempted to dive in front of a slow-moving car during midterms (please don’t). There is no automatic path to straight As, although under extreme circumstances, the administration might allow you to schedule make-up exams.