Even though going to college can be incredibly exciting, it’s normal to feel nervous. Nearly all college students experienced some kind of anxiety in the beginning! It doesn’t matter if you’re a recent high school graduate who is moving across the country to go to college or you’re an adult in your forties who wants to pursue a new career— you shouldn’t let your fear of college get the best of you.
Incoming freshmen are often worried about being paired with the roommate from hell, something that wouldn’t concern an adult college student with a full-time job and a family, but the following college myths have caused thousands of students to feel edgy over the years. Read on and discover why you shouldn’t let a fear of college drive you crazy.
1. College is so expensive these days, I’m not even sure I can afford to go. College tuition and fees (and room and board, if you’re living on campus) have drastically increased over the years, but financial assistance is available. Many colleges and universities offer their own institutional scholarships to eligible students and federal financial aid programs provide college funds in the form of grants and loans. Visit FAFSA on the Web to get more information about help paying for college and instructions on submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
2. College-level work is going to be way too hard for me. College assignments are going to be different than the work you did in high school. After all, you’ll be studying more advanced concepts and working at a faster pace. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to handle it. It means you’ll have to adjust your study habits and ask for help if you need it!
3. Professors are mean. You may have heard horror stories about professors locking students out of class or ridiculing them in front of a full auditorium. There might be some truth to those stories, but most professors aren’t out to get students—and the ones who lock classroom doors probably do it so students show up on time. Truth is, professors are busy people who won’t coddle you as much as your high school teachers did. If you want to speak with them, you’ll need to visit them during office hours. They aren’t mind-readers, either. If a topic is confusing, it’s up to you to ask for help!
4. College is one big party! Movies and TV shows often paint the picture that college is nothing but a party that’s occasionally interrupted by classes. While keg parties are common on some campuses, college is more than a giant drunken mess. And if you’re not a party animal, there are plenty of “alternative” activities to enjoy.
5. I won’t fit in or make any friends. Going outside your comfort zone is stressful. It can be tough transitioning from being a big man on campus—AKA high school senior—to a freshman who doesn’t know anyone. If you’re returning to school later in life, being older than most of the other students can also be nerve-racking. Even so, you will find people who share your interests. After all, once you’re taking classes within your specific major, you’ll be surrounded by people who have something in common!
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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