Like any other highly anticipated chapter of life, college comes with an extremely bloated and warped sense of hype. Whether it’s passed on traditionally, from sibling to sibling, or modernly, through an onslaught of entertainment and social media, one inherits misleading and uncontrollable expectations of how the “greatest four years of your life” will play out.
Many are able manage the propaganda and sift through the half-truths and the complete falsities that are depicted on both the silver and big screen. However, for every person with a realistic outlook on college, there are ten people who believe that believe whole-heartedly that the next four years are the end all and be all of to human existence.
This not only leads to excessive drinking amongst those ill-prepared for college life, but it also contributes to the rising number of college drop outs and fifth year seniors across the country.
To tweak that quote from Spider-Man that has been abused more than a Taiwanese hooker: with great expectations comes great disappointment.
In all seriousness though, college is awesome and, more often than not, does live up to the ridiculously high hype – somehow.
With that said, there are plenty of myths about going to school and college life that should be dismissed.
1. A Degree Pays for Itself
Let’s just get this one out of the way early on — college is not worth it. All the studying, eating, drinking, and sleeping is a hazy whirlwind that’s certainly unmatched by the rest of life’s events. However, the memories and the experience never actually equate to the money spent on obtaining your college degree — i.e. the reason why you go to school in the first place.
Sure, memories and experiences can be labeled as things that are “priceless,” but that stance is sheer ignorance. There’s nothing priceless about having $200,000 worth of student loans facing you when you don’t have a job.
Of course you may be able to even out that cost five to ten years down the line, but that’s way after you break your back working at an entry level job and living at home with your parents. In short, the juice is not worth the squeeze.
2. Finding the One
I’m aware that a good amount of couples met in college, however, there’s no actual proof that college is haven for marriage. This is a myth that has trickled down seamlessly through cultural influence to brainwash into us thinking that if we leave college without the future Ms. Right, then we must have really fucked up somewhere along the way. On the contrary, why the hell would you want to be burdened with a girl you’re thinking of marrying while you have to face the aforementioned post-graduate debt?
I’ve always justified the fact that I exited college without a significant other because there’s no way a relationship can withstand the onslaught of bullshit that happens in the first year after school. There’s just too much anxiety flowing from the real world. It’s acidic and deteriorates even the most functional couples.
You shouldn’t trust me on this because I’m a single bro who’s all too familiar with his right hand, but finding the one is something that nobody should aim for when entering college. It’s just too damn early.
3. Study Time = Party Time
People that use the phrase “work hard, play hard” when in school piss me off like no other. It holds absolutely no water. Why? Because the two polar exercises — studying and partying — are nowhere close to being equal. Anyone who’s been to college can tell you that academics are important — duh! — but they are a mere fraction of the college experience. Yes, you study hours on end during the week, if necessary, but studying never takes up as much of your time as partying and socializing.
If we were used a pie chart to measure what percentage of activities make up college life, I can guarantee you time spent studying would be a sliver whereas drinking with your friends would be like three colossal slices.
4. Drug Experimentation
One of the more spoken myths amongst teenagers going off to school is that they will be forced into experimenting with drugs. Again, this is simply not true. Are drugs more prevalent on a college campus? Of course. Is the peer pressure to take them worse than high school? Definitely. Do you have to conform and the follow the leader? I sure as shit hope not. This is a free country. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to especially if it’s ingesting a toxic drug that could potentially kill your brain cells or your entire body.
I went to school in a decent-sized city that has a significant drug culture (see: last year’s historic Amendment 64 passing) and not once did I ever feel uncomfortably pressured into smoking, snorting or ingesting an illegal substance. College kids like the reassurance of doing something with a crowd so that’s why the pressure may feel so fierce, but at the end of the day, the word “no” holds just as much power on a college campus as it does anywhere else in the world.
5. Sex Every Night
College would be outlawed if this myth were true. Not because of the constant debauchery and increased spreading of disease, but rather, kids would never want to leave. Imagine a place with endless sex night after night without failure? Exactly, it’s hard to imagine because in all reality it doesn’t exist. We all have nights where we go home alone and use our hand as a companion. It’s human nature. We’re not perfect; we’re flawed.
All I know is that if college delivered on that false promise of intercourse every night then I’d still be there pulling a double Van Wilder and probably preparing myself for a quarter century stay. I mean, why the hell not?
Click below to read 5 more of the Biggest Myths About College