Expectation vs. Reality: Freshman Year

A few weeks ago, we went over our Top 10 Myths Parents and Students Believe About College. In this version, we will go over the expectations vs. the reality of the first year of college experience and the things incoming college freshmen should know.

Myth: College professors are unapproachable
One huge myth freshman believe before starting college is that your professors will be unapproachable and difficult to talk to during and outside of classes.  This rumor is simply not true. Just like your high school teachers, college professors want you to succeed. But how do you talk to your professor?

Most college professors will post office hours, and it is generally very easy to make an appointment to see them. Professors are invested in your success, they are there to help you learn. The main difference between high school teachers and college professors is that most contact is through email. Most professors respond very quickly, and try to help answer your questions. There are some professors who may be a bit more difficult to get in contact with, but remember you also have tons of other resources at school. If you go to a bigger school with larger classes and big lecture halls, and find it difficult to reach out to your professor directly, you can normally get in contact with a Teaching Assistant (TA). If you're struggling in a class, the library tutoring center can always lend you a helping hand as well.

It is important to make a connection with your professor. Build that relationship with them throughout the semester and add them to your network on LinkedIn. Professors are good to connect with in case you need a reference letter or need help looking for an internship. Professors usually have connections themselves, so it doesn’t hurt to build that relationship while you’re already attending their class.

Myth: Your roommate needs to be your best friend
We all hope when we get paired with a roommate it will be a perfect match, but unfortunately this is not always the case. And that’s completely okay! You don’t have to get along with everyone you meet during college. Although it’s not ideal, take this as a learning opportunity as this will also most likely happen when you enter the working world.  

If you don’t know your roommate, go in with the action plan of being friendly to your roommate and get to know them. They are in the same situation as you and probably have the same questions and feelings. But if you feel that you guys aren’t going to be great friends, don’t panic. There are tons of other ways to meet people at college. There are clubs, college planned events, classes, dorm residents, and even the dining hall that present opportunities for you to meet new people.

If this is the case, you and your roommate will just have to adapt and be able to live in the same room. This might seem like a lot, but in college you won’t be in your room most of the time. Even in the worst case scenario you have to move out of your room, it's not the end of the world because housing offices at school are very likely to help you find a better fit because they too want you to feel comfortable.

Myth: You need to find your place right away
Going to college is a big step for any high school student, and it will probably take some time to find your place and your people. Social media is a highlight reel of everyone posting their best moments, but no one is actually having as much fun as they seem. When you get to college it might be a little scary and you feel uncomfortable in this new place, and why is everyone else from home already fitting into their new environment?  They aren’t! Everyone is just as nervous about this transition as you are; everyone is trying to make new friends, and it’s not like you are the new kid at a place where everyone already knows each other.  All of your peers are in the same boat as you.

Myth: You’re not prepared yet to go to college
We get it. You’ve most likely been under your parents roof all your life. It’s difficult to even imagine how you’ll make it on your own, but this is exactly what your parents, family, teachers, friends set you up for.

Your parents and family have prepared you with the life skills you need, such as priorities, managing money, healthy habits, etc. Your teachers have prepared you for the academic course load and study skill methods.Your friends helped you with your social skills. Plus, colleges have additional services students can take advantage of if they need help.

You are ready to leave your hometown. You are probably going to miss your parents, guardians, and friends, but time flies at college and you will see them before you know it. You got this!

If you're feeling lost and confused, or just don't know where to start in regards to career discovery and the internship search, check out our flexible plans to jump start your career.

Wondering what you'll do after college? Download the Pathmatch app to discover companies that match your interests, strengths, and goals! Pathmatch can help find the perfect career fit for you!