The real truths behind the myths that you’ve probably heard…
“Oh you must be SO smart!” You have heard this, right? Almost everyone interviewing for an Honors Program has, or at least some variation. Intelligence may be a factor, but there is so much more to Honors than how well you take a test. The myths I have heard about being an Honors student may apply in certain places, but I haven't found any of these common concerns to be true of Emory & Henry.
1. All Honors students are nerds
Honestly, that’s true. But it is in no way a bad thing. Coming into my first semester, I completely expected to be labeled as a “nerd,” and I have in fact found that to be the case, but it is not derogatory here. It means that you are especially passionate about your talents and your interests and that you are willing to delve a little deeper into things to find answers or begin fascinating research. Being a nerd doesn’t mean you’re too smart for your own good—it doesn’t even have to be tied to intelligence at all. Nerds are simply especially ready to learn, and you will find a whole bunch of them here.
2. The Honors Program is too smart for me
I definitely thought this, coming in, but it isn’t true. There are an overwhelming number of different kinds of smart people here. Some write brilliant essays, others excel at research and presentation, and still others understand the highest levels of math (my roommate, for example, but definitely not me). Everyone shines at something, and they are in college (as you will be) to get better at what they already do well and to build up their other skills to match. Highlight your academic strengths and weaknesses in your interviews—it shows that you know yourself. Though there are requirements to be considered for the program, don’t let them define you. Define yourself once you get here by showing off what you’re good at and putting a big effort into improving.
3. Honors kids do nothing but study/have no social lives
We study a lot, that’s true. But it’s college. Everyone studies a lot! There is no truth in the idea that Honors students have no social lives—actually, it’s challenging to find an Honors Scholar who is not involved in something else on campus (or five other things). There are limitless opportunities here, and Honors students take advantage of them in many different ways. Also, if you choose to live in Honors housing, you will find that social time is easy to find because people are so willing and excited to talk to you!
4. Honors classes are hard and they will ruin my GPA
Honors classes are just regular classes with higher expectations for work. If you are ready for a challenge, this is the place to be. And again, it’s college! This isn’t supposed to be easy for anyone—the four years you spend here are an opportunity to dare yourself to think in new ways, and that means some classes will be tough. Maybe you will write more papers in Honors, but it’s because the professors think you can handle it and that it will help you grow. I have enjoyed my Honors classes so far, especially for the complex conversations that undoubtedly pop up (though they sometimes go over my head).
5. The Honors Program is an elitist society of snobs
Maybe that’s a little more dramatic than what you were thinking. But in that description, I agree only with “society.” Honors students are part of an interdependent community designed to encourage and inspire each member. There are always projects underway and people collaborating to accomplish big things, but few people are snobs. Honors students are no better than traditional students, they simply chose a different track that works better for them and which they can better use to expand as thinkers.
If you have been invited to interview for the Honors Program, I would encourage you to go through with it. Even if it isn’t for you, visiting and experiencing the community our Program offers can make a big difference and help you to decide. Honors is a huge part of my college life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
BY: Jessica Myer ‘18
Photo description: Casey (left) and Sara (right) in the library. Photography by Jessica Myer ‘18.