5 common college misconceptions debunked

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Photo Credit: Mel Westfall | Daily Texan Staff

Incoming Longhorns are usually swamped with opportunities to learn about college, but even a lengthy orientation, advice from peers and online resources can still leave you feeling unprepared for this next chapter in life. Because college preparation often leaves your biggest questions unanswered, The Daily Texan is here to disprove five common misconceptions about college life.

There’s nothing to do on campus.

Throughout your first year, there will likely be Friday nights when you’re sitting alone in your dorm, frustrated by the seemingly small number of activities available. But no matter how empty the 40 Acres appears after Friday classes end, this campus is always buzzing with life, offering many engaging, fun-filled opportunities for students, 24/7. With world-renowned artists and U.S. vice presidents making the 40 Acres their travel destination, you never know who’s coming to UT next. When celebrities aren’t making guests appearances on campus, student-run events such as blockbuster film screenings and drag shows are bound to keep
you occupied.

Dining hall food sucks.

If you came home everyday from school to mom’s wholesome cooking, having to suddenly rely on dining halls for your daily meals can be daunting. No matter what dining hall horror stories you may have read about online, UT’s dining hall options are anything but scary. UT’s dining halls strive to include all students’ dietary restrictions in their daily menus, keeping a variety of vegetarian and vegan options on hand each day. For those whose taste buds are easily bored by routine, buffet-style options, chefs also prepare special dishes on request, with specials such as shrimp pancit and brisket-filled baked potatoes popping up each week. Out of UT’s eight dining halls and cafes, we recommend starting with Kinsolving
Dining or Jesta Pizza first.

Making friends is difficult.

With more than 50,000 students enrolled at UT, befriending any of these strangers might seem impossible. When you’re lost during your pursuit of new friends, seeking out student organizations is your best bet. Instead of spending your time after class napping in your dorm, seize the opportunity to attend an organization info meeting. In some ways, a larger campus makes your friend search easier because you can easily find groups that are specifically tailored to your interests. UT students have come together to create a group for almost anything you can think of, ranging from All-Write, All-Write, All-Write to Introverts’ Social Club. Like many other parts of your college experience, making friends is what you make of it.

Office hours can wait.

When you’re juggling so many things in your hectic college life, taking the time to attend your professor’s office hours can seem like a chore. But office hours are more than opportunities to ask about upcoming assignments — they’re opportunities to make connections that may last a lifetime. Even if it’s for a moment, introduce yourself, inquire about their current research and ask for advice on nonacademic affairs. Discuss anything with your professors to make you more than just another face in their large lectures. And yes, this means you will have to pay attention in class. Missing out on office hours during your time at UT may result in poor class performance and a lack of job references, making the transition to your post-college career much more difficult. 

I don’t deserve to be here.

As an incoming student to a Public Ivy, feeling that you can’t compete with the rest of the student body is normal. With thousands of students each bringing their own unique spark to the table, comparing your skills to others is useless. No matter where you feel you stand coming into the 40 Acres, always remember that these four or so years will leave you graduating a better person emotionally and mentally — and with hundreds of stories to share for a lifetime.