The Hard Truth of College: 5 Facts They Don’t Cover at Orientation

Orientation does their best to make college sound like a utopian world where you have all the support you need, and you’ll have more fun than stress. While there is some truth to the support, the fun, and the lifestyle, there are some hard things that they try not to mention at orientation. Here are five facts about going to college they probably won’t cover.

#1 All Professors Care About Attendance 

While it’s true that not all professors take attendance, it’s a myth that some instructors don’t care. Even if a teacher says they don’t care, they care. Teachers learn faces and names over time through class discussions and participation. They will naturally be more willing to work with a student they recognize than someone they know just showed up for the first time half way through the semester. So, no matter what, skipping class is never a good idea. If you are going to miss a class and you have a good reason, let your professor know as soon as possible and ask what they should do to keep up.

#2 For Every Hour You Spend In Class, Expect 3 Hours of Homework

This concept is more of a guideline than a hard rule. However, the sentiment is right on the money. Most three credit hour classes will have about nine hours worth of homework per week. It sounds like a lot, but remember that’s per week. Not every night. And, a lot of it is reading. Some weeks are lighter than others. No matter what, you have a lot of work to do. It takes some getting used to, but most college students don’t have trouble keeping up.

PRO TIP: Skim all readings before class and take notes about what you skimmed. Then, during lecture take detailed notes and pay close attention to which readings your professor covered in detail. After that, you should go back and read the material they didn’t cover in class. This technique can save you hundreds of hours.

#3 College Is Stressful 

While there are a lot of parties, clubs, events, and great experiences in college, there is also a lot of stress. You have to be prepared for the pressure and have good coping mechanisms in place before you start college to have your best shot at overcoming the anxiety and climbing toward success. If you are already prone to stress and anxiety, you’ll need to double down your efforts of controlling it before you go to college.

#4 Rushing Can Be Hard On Your Grades

Fraternities and sororities can be a great thing for many college students. Some groups focus on service which is ideal for future resumes. Other groups are focused on campus improvement, and some are focused on shared interests. However, rushing means that you pledge to follow certain rules, often pay dues, and show up for meetings and events. It’s usually a significant time commitment that can eat away at your study time. Before you rush, decide if you have the time, money, and energy to commit to the organization.

#5 Most Classes Seem Overwhelming the First Few Weeks

If you walk into the first day of a class and feel like you’re never going to learn what the professor is talking about, you’re not alone. Most students feel like the first few weeks of a new semester are crazy. Study hard and give it a little time, and you’ll be surprised by how quickly you learn. The key is to ask questions, show up for class, and study hard. You’ll get it before you know it.

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