18 Myths About College That People Later Realized Weren't True
"College isn’t for everyone, and it was never meant to be."
Growing up, your only real understanding of college comes from TV and film portrayals, or from the mouths of your high school teachers. Naturally, it's hard to really know the truth about the college experience until you've lived it.
1. “It's a lie that there are no cliques. Ultimately, there was a huge social hierarchy at my college, and people were desperate to fit into a huge group of friends. I loved the friends I made and the experience I had, but there were absolutely different groups of people who made themselves out to be 'exclusive and popular.' It was sad to see how far people would go to fit in."
3. "'You'll be earning so much, you'll pay back those student loans in no time!' No."
5. "It's not true that the professors don’t help you. I know this isn’t universal — I've had my share of professors who were 'sink or swim' — but I found that a majority were willing to go above and beyond for you if you put the effort in."
6. "That it's ever too late for you to go to college. I started when I was 28, and it was the best decision of my life. I did this all while married and raising two kids. It was a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it. I would never have been able to do it while I was younger because I just didn't care about my future and was pretty immature. Now I am working in my dream career instead of just a job to pay the bills."
9. "When I was in seventh grade, some of my cousins told me that colleges could look at your search history and I believed them. I immediately went through all my search history, deleted it, and purposely searched for stuff like 'How to solve quadratics' or 'What does i represent' so I would sound smart and hardworking to colleges."
11. "It's a lie that college is a requirement to get a job. It’s not. College isn’t for everyone, and it was never meant to be."
12. "That it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you want to study right away and you can switch your major anytime. While parts of this are true, college is expensive. I switched my major after my second year and had to take a fifth year to finish my degree. It’s cheaper to take classes at a community college if you are unsure of what you want to study and then transition into university once you’ve decided. Don’t pay thousands of dollars to find yourself."
13. "It's not true that all of your papers have to use APA citation (instead of MLA, which they teach in high school). I’ve only had one professor care that we use APA, and she was a psychology professor. The rest said to use whatever we wanted and often didn’t care if we got it wrong. As long as there were sources and enough information to find them later, it was fine."
16. "It's not entirely true that you will know what you want by the end of it. Been there, done that. Still trying to figure out what I want."
18. "'Don't major in ____ unless you want to be unemployed' is so not true. While some degrees might give you a better chance of finding employment after college, the reality is that the job market is unpredictable, unstable, and unforgiving, no matter what degree you have."
What's a myth about college that you've heard? Tell us in the comments!
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.