5 Myths About Going to College

How many scary myths have you heard about college? Here are five common ones, and they are all false!

There are many myths about going to college that have been spread in a variety of ways; however, it is more common than not that these myths are either partially or completely untrue. Since some of these myths can be frightening enough to scare students away from going to college for no real reason, it is important to clarify that many of the scariest myths are false! Here are five of the most common myths students may hear about going to college and the real facts.

1. It will be just like high school, except more difficult

This is probably the most important myth that needs to be debunked—college is very different from high school in almost every way you can imagine. While the classes may be more “difficult,” on the surface, many times they can feel easier than classes in high school because you got to choose them and will, more often than not, enjoy them. Since the grade–school structure of learning is the only thing most students have known until they get to college, the transition period can be difficult at first, but it does not take long to get into the swing of things and fit right in to a new, more flexible structure of learning.

2. You can’t be a good student and still have fun

One of the main things that college teaches students how to do is balance the desire to do well in school and the need to have fun. While some people are better at this than others, almost every college student develops the ability to manage these not-always-contradictory goals and ends up graduating both feeling successful and having enjoyed their college experience. Honors Program students are particularly apt at balancing these goals, as they are some of the most successful students at the College and are also involved in more activities than many other students on campus are.

3. I need to decide on my career before I can choose a college

In reality, only a small number of people go into college with a career in mind who will actually stick with that plan; it is far more likely, whether you have a path in mind at the beginning of college or are undecided, that you will end up choosing your major once you have taken courses in a variety of departments. Exposure is key – you can’t know if you will actually enjoy studying a subject until you try it out! A liberal arts college like Emory & Henry is a great choice for students who do not have a specific major or career in mind, as the academic model encourages exposure to a significant variety of fields of study.

4. Only the very best students receive financial aid from colleges

This statement is patently false; most colleges offer a sliding scale of financial aid that combines considerations of need and merit, but need-based scholarships are more common. While some students may get more aid than others due to these and other considerations, it is a college’s goal to make sure that it is possible for you to attend and will help as much as possible. There is billions of dollars of aid out there, both through schools themselves and through outside scholarships and loans, than make it possible for almost anyone to afford school. While Emory & Henry does offer significant merit scholarships, it offers even better need-based scholarships for its students.

5. You must go Greek to have friends

Some colleges place a greater emphasis on Greek life than others do, but even students who are not Greek at schools that have a significant Greek population still have friends. Remember, unless the entire student body is Greek, there will be other people who do not choose to join a sorority or fraternity. It is also important to remember that you can be friends with people who participate in Greek life even if you do not, and there are many other types of organizations that may help you meet the best friends for you better than a Greek organization can. While a number of Honors Program students are Greek, an equal or greater number are not, and the Honors scholars are particularly apt at being friends with people from almost every group on campus.

BY: Rachael Sharp ‘16

Photo description: Mary Ruth (left) and Rachael (right) in front of the Emory & Henry College main entrance gate. Photography by Jessica Myer ‘18