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
6. Majors Mean Everything
This should probably be higher but I’m sure none of you dudes are reading this for academic advice so I’ll keep it brief — your major has little to do with your life as a real person. Yes, if you’re getting into nuclear engineering, you should probably tailor your studies to get into that career. However, for someone who doesn’t have an exact plan — and trust me, there are plenty of these — a degree in let’s say English could result in a job in any number of jobs ranging from pool lifeguard to astronaut.
The point here is that you shouldn’t base every decision in college off your major. It’s a title and it goes away the minute you’re handed your degree.
7. Four Year Routine
There’s an insane amount of success stories of people who went to community college and got a two-year degree and went on to make bank; and there’s an even larger amount of people who took more than four years to get their undergraduate degree and went on to find fortune after they finally decided to put college behind them. The myth that everyone should go to a four-year school and finish in four years is the trashiest stereotype about college because it reduces all the different personalities and different minds into one conformist blender.
Speaking from someone who graduated ahead of time, it does not matter when you graduate. The successes and failures of the real world will be waiting for you without any regard to time. In the words of the Big Lebowski, life is all about strikes and gutters; it’s the inevitable way of the world.
8. Sorority Girls are Easy
In the sense of putting out, this myth is completely true so I could see why someone would want this to be taken off the list because it's not deceiving or a falsehood. However, there are a lot of other factors that go into breaking down the word “easy” that justify why this is actually in fact a myth.
Are sorority girls easy to put up with for an extended time? Hell no. Would you say they are easy to talk to? I’d prefer conversing with an orange. Do they have any sense of individuality that makes them easier to relate to? Conformity rules and the result is a group of robots that are programmed to act, talk and think like a group of lemmings.
Trust me, there’s nothing easy about landing a sorority chick. Even if you’re bringing her home to give her the old in and out, there’s still a lot of hard work that has to be put in beforehand.
9. It Gets Better as You Get Older
This is a myth because the innocence of freshman year certainly trumps the hardened shell of experience that one carries with them all of senior year. The difference is really in weight. The younger you are, the less baggage you have and the less to bog you down. You can move around freely. Try what you want to try. Fuck who you want to fuck. Do what you want to do.
On the flip side of that coin, the older you get, the more baggage you carry and the less freedom you have. At bars and parties, you have to play the role of a politician and make sure you don’t piss off the girl you slept with because she might tell the girl your now hitting on some game-ending news. Furthermore, you can’t do whatever the hell you want because there are harsher repercussions if you get in trouble. And most of all, as you get older in college, your focus changes from being to an innocent partygoer who can chat to anyone at anytime about anything to an aloof dickhead who’s primary concern is about what his career is going to look like.
10. America the Beautiful
I hate to use this on the list because there’s nothing I hate more than being unpatriotic. However, the reality of the situation makes this unavoidable —American colleges are worse than international schools. And they’re a lot more expensive too. America currently ranks 14th in the world in higher education and that appears to be only getting worse as foreign competition continues to rise. So the myth that America is the Mecca of education, especially higher education, is one grand illusion.
The lesson here is simple: if you can study abroad for a semester or two or, hell, four, then do it. Saying that you attended the London School of Economics for a year is a bigger deal than saying you went to the University of Pittsburgh. (I mean no offense to those Pitt grads out there, I swear).