There are honestly a lot of college myths I’ve heard. The problem is when I was in high school, a lot of those myths were busted. Fun fact: I went to a college preparatory boarding school, so college was a pretty tame idea. When I was in boarding school, I thought it would be like “Zoey 101” and that was obviously a mistake.
It’s funny though, the biggest myth I heard about college is that it would be so much harder. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been moments where college is hard, but nothing similar to how my teachers made it seem. It wasn’t until I finally made it to college that I realized there were always myths and rumors that I was unsure of.
When I first started at Ithaca College, I had a certain idea for just about everything. Here are some of the biggest. I thought you had to make all your friends in your freshman year. At Convocation, I heard this story from someone saying he met his wife in the elevator of towers. And I just remember going … “s—, I have to find my true love in four years.” I made a lot of friends during orientation and my first year on campus. Some of the relationships are still intact, others aren’t. The thing is, that’s completely natural. I started making more friends my junior year of college than I thought possible. I also always thought that in college you had to be in this friend group, this group that you did everything with. I was in a friend group my freshman year, but I don’t really like friend groups so it wasn’t a good time for me. So I left it. I work better in relationships with individuals rather than groups. The quality of friends is a lot better than the quantity. Don’t feel pressured to stay in that 17-person friend group if you really don’t want to be there. Another myth that I heard was that everyone leaves — now don’t get me wrong, a lot of people I know have transferred to different schools. Their reasons are all over the map, whether it was choosing a school closer to home, changing majors, or even the price of the college being too high. A lot of people decide that transferring is what’s best for them, but a lot more don’t. I knew I was going to be at this college my entire four years, while my friends were looking into transferring to Salisbury or Arizona State University. We knew our paths were different, but supporting each other’s decisions was the only thing that mattered.
The last thing I want to address is the pressure of going out and partying. Friendly reminder: I’m 21, so I’m not incriminating myself. I would say that in my entire time being at college, partying was not a very big part of it. There were nights that I went out with my friends, but a lot of the fun events that we went to didn’t usually have alcohol involved. We went to IC Afterdark events, the Student Activities Board (SAB) comedy shows, we have movie nights at the Regal Cinemas; the possibilities in this town are endless. I knew before starting college that a huge part of the culture is to get drunk and high and go crazy. I never really went crazy, I called my mom before I went to parties and I texted her when I got home. And I didn’t go out a lot.
Granted, I did become an RA, so partying definitely wasn’t happening my sophomore and junior year, although sometimes I did (don’t tell my former bosses I said that). There is some pressure on the idea that having fun revolves around getting sloshed. I like the mixed drinks my roommate makes and drinking mimosas at the Sunset Grill, but those are things that started in my senior year. If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, definitely don’t. The real friends you make won’t judge or pressure you to do something, as cheesy as that sounds.