You’ve all heard the stereotypes entering your first year of college, whether it was just this year, or almost four years ago. Your self-proclaimed “funny” uncle pokes you in the side and tells you to watch out for the Freshman Fifteen. Your grandmother is horrified to find out you are in a coed dorm, and have to travel all the way to the basement alone to do laundry.
We’ve all been subjected to them, but which of the most widely known Freshman Year stereotypes are false?
#1 The Freshman Fifteen– This is the alligators-in-the-sewers equivalent of college urban legends. Paranoia runs wild in freshman dorms in front of the mirrors, as we wonder if That Dessert just contributed to the infamous Fifteen. The truth is, if you don’t stuff your face at the all-you-can-eat cafeteria, and make some effort at aerobic activity, it’s not going to happen to you. With the stress of being in a completely new situation, I actually lost weight, and went through a phase where I couldn’t eat. With a trip to the gym a couple times a week, or simply knowing when to push back from the table, you’ll be absolutely safe from the mythical menace. The Freshman Fifteen, like most urban legends, is what you make it.
#2 You’ll be broke and living on Ramen Noodles- Absolutely false. Most colleges have an amazing setup of places on campus where you can eat using your meal plan, no extra money necessary. While Ramen Noodles are absolutely tasty, eating them is absolutely your choice. If by chance you do end up wanting spare cash, your college should offer a variety of part-time jobs you can work, often in more than one place. Ironically, despite their price tag, colleges understand that college students want money, and there are continuous jobs available for students. Be careful, though:work too many hours, and your grades may suffer.
#3 The dorms are full of constant parties, and nobody gets any studying done- This varies from dorm to dorm, but generally in freshman dorms, this is false. Nobody’s legal age, yet, and most of us are finding out that college classes are a lot harder than high school classes. While there are wild moments (fire trucks consistently show up with sirens blazing at the all-male dorm next to mine), and wild people (like the person who keeps setting trashcan fires in the Business building), you tend to have to seek out parties, rather than evade them. In the event that you are in the party dorm, you still have two options: the library is open almost all night, or you can join in.
#4 You Shouldn’t Be In A Relationship Freshman Year– Obvi, this depends entirely on you and whether you want an exclusive relationship. Personally, I chose to date my first semester, and while it was the right choice for me, I handled it badly. There’s a lot of responsibility associated with having a boyfriend your first semester of college (not skipping class to sleep in with him, or going out every night with him and blowing off assigned reading), and it can be fun to play the field a bit as a single lady. In the end though, like college itself, it’s all on you and what you choose to do.
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