While the movies are a great first date idea, the perfect source for fashion inspiration or a fun way to kick off your girls night in, they don’t always provide classy co-eds with the best image of what the real world is like. Hollywood has pushed out more films about the high school and college experience than even the savviest mathematician can count. What do all of these flicks have in common? Besides the entertainment factor, they take typical college stereotypes and morph them into something they’re not.
Many of students begin their freshman year of college with unrealistic expectations about what to expect over the next four years because what they’ve seen on both the big (and small) screen. CL spoke to members of the Zeta Chi chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, to debunk some of the most common college myths. This way, every College Lifestyles reader will be able to set foot on campus completely informed, up-to-date and in-the-know.
Myth: You will instantly meet your best friends the moment you arrive.
Fact: “I started off freshman year hoping to make close friends right off the bat. I was told that I would be making some of the best friends in my life. However, after a few weeks of being here, I still didn’t find that connection with anyone,” says Kara O’Rourke, a Marist junior. “It took me until sophomore year to find my close friends. So when someone tells you that you’ll find great people who become your friends, don’t worry if it doesn’t happen overnight. It could take two days to find your best friends at college or two years, but once you find them, it will make your experience so much more memorable.”
Anne Millar, a senior, echoed O’Rourke’s sentiment. “You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate. Most of the time, you and your roommate won’t be a perfect match and that’s totally fine. It’s okay to make friends besides your roommate. In fact, you really should.”
Tip: To make friends, branch out and try a new club or activity – the way sophomore Stephanie Dibble did. “I heard everyone say ‘get involved’ but I didn’t think I had to…If I hadn’t [broadened my horizons] during freshman year, I wouldn’t have joined Kappa Kappa Gamma which is one of the best decisions I have made.”
Myth: All there is to do at school is party and drink.
Fact: “There’s so much more to school [than the party scene,]” says Heather Whalen, a junior. “Many colleges have shuttles to malls, shopping centers, and movie theaters! Have a movie night! Make s’mores. Don’t feel pressured to drink just because other people are.”
Lauren Hirschhornn, also a junior, came to Marist with the same myth in mind.
“Before going to college I thought it was all about the parties, I thought everyone went our pretty much every night. Once getting to college I realized not every single person goes out on every single day of the week, there are plenty of other things to do,” she says.
Tip: Not in the mood to go out? Get together with a group of your friends and whip up some fun recipes, try a new activity or attend a production being put on by your school’s drama club, dance ensemble or singing group.
Myth: Greek Life is about hazing, drinking and partying.
Fact: “Movies portray Greek life as oversized cliques who haze and throw large parties,” says Courtney Dionne, a sophomore. “Fraternities and sororities nationwide contribute to a lot of great causes and hold a lot of academic and positive social standards.”
Tip: Looking to go Greek? Do your research! Talk to other girls, look at their websites online and see if their activities and philanthropic efforts align with your interests. Find out how they treat new members and see if you would fit in with your potential future sisters.
Myth: The Freshman 15 comes strictly from food.
Fact: “Many [college students] are former athletes that are no longer on a team. They may still be eating the amount of calories they did as an athlete and are now only working out two times a week,” says Anne Millar, a Marist senior. “Also, the saying ‘don’t drink your calories’ really applies to college students of every age. With soda and other drinks readily available in the dining hall, we don’t realize how many calories we’re consuming simply by drinking.”
Myth: Get used to all nighters.
Fact: “All-nighters are few and far between if you know how to manage your time well,” says Stephanie Conte, a junior. While all-nighters may happen to the classiest of us, there is no need to make them a regular occurrence. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night is a must for fierce and fabulous co-eds constantly on the move.
Tip: Follow these rules to manage your time more effectively and prevent the dreaded all-nighter from happening to you!
Did you have any myths about college before beginning your freshman year?
Casey Galasso is junior at Marist College. Follow her on Twitter at @omggcasey. To stay tuned to more articles for classy co-eds, be sure to follow College Lifestyles on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.