If you are thinking about going to college you have probably heard some crazy stories online and from your friends and family. From applying to colleges to scholarship craziness to classes you should take to how long it will take to graduate, there are always stories circulating around that make it seem both easy and impossible at the same time. Has the anxiety set in yet? Well, don't let it. Let's dispel some common college myths.
Getting into college is extremely hard
Yes, you do need to work hard and get the best grades possible, but it doesn't mean that you won't get into college being a below perfect student. To go along with that, you don't have to have a 4.0 GPA with loads of extracurricular activities to get into an Ivy League or top college, either. Schools want to see student applicants that are driven to succeed and are willing to challenge themselves enough to make a difference at their school and after they graduate. Not being perfect doesn't mean you failed.
Employers only care if you graduate from a top college
After you graduate, you will likely be filling out applications to a bunch of different employers. Don't forego applying to a potentially amazing job just because you didn't go to a top college. Sure, employers look to see where you went to school, but they will look at your resume holistically, including classes you took, other jobs you've had, and everything else about you. So, when you're choosing a school to attend, don't let this be a major factor. Instead, focus on the quality of education.
Don't worry about failing a test, there will always be extra credit
Always, always, always, study for every test you take! Don't think that just because a professor seems nice and personable, doesn't mean they are going to give you a good grade just because or offer you extra credit. You are just like every other student, and professors know this. They won't give you special attention or opportunities more or less than they will anybody else. Plus, if there is going to be extra credit for the course, they will most likely tell you on the first day of class on the syllabus.
Assume you will graduate with $40k+ in debt
Not everyone has an exorbitant amount of student loans. However, college is expensive and you need to be aware of how much tuition plus room and board is going to cost for attendance. Student loans aren't always a bad thing, but make sure that you apply for scholarships, a part time and work study job, and other grants available in your area. Believe it or not, millions of dollars go unclaimed every year from scholarship funds simply because no one ever applies. Take advantage of every opportunity you get so that you won't have more student loans than you can handle. On top of it all, look into tuition reimbursement programs after you graduate.
You have to get a 4.0 to get a scholarship
As mentioned in the previous section, apply for scholarships. No matter what your grade point average is, apply for them every semester and in between. You don't have to have a 4.0 GPA to get a scholarship. In fact, some places even give scholarships just because you are a resident, of certain ethnic dissent, or are in a certain field of study.
You should always go to a university over a community college
Community colleges get a bad rap for some reason. In reality, community and junior colleges are a great way to get your generals and prerequisites out of the way for a lot cheaper before going to a four-year university. Plus, if you really have no idea what you want to major in but still know that you need to go to college, community college can allow you to explore a lot of different subject areas to find out what you want to do.
You need to know what you want to major in before you start
No matter if you go to a community college or a university, you will likely have to declare a major. This doesn't really matter aside from giving you an idea of what classes you need to take and maybe even who your advisor will be. You can always change your major. Always, even if you are about to graduate you can change your major. You won't be able to graduate if you do, because you will have different credit requirements, but you can nonetheless. When you first go to college, have a plan in mind but stay open to other opportunities and possibilities that may arise. You never know what passions you might find in college.