Two Truths and a Lie: College Edition

By Sarah Warren on September 28, 2016

Anyone who has ever been to a team-building function or elementary school part is familiar with “Two Truths and a Lie,” the self-explanatory game where you tell two truths and one lie and the rest of the players have to guess which is the lie. It’s a good time killer at best and an awkward get-to-know-you exercise at worst, but it’s a good way to talk about myths about college, which is what I’m here to do.

Truth – There’s really no difference between public and private universities.
You’ve most likely heard this coming from your parents on behalf of their bank accounts. And they’re right – mostly. College really is what you make of it, so no matter what kind of college you attend, it will be as enriching as you make it. Talking to professors, learning about volunteer and research opportunities, and taking electives that interest you are the choices that define you college experience, not the type of university you attend.

Truth – Freshman are the bottom of the food chain.
But not in a bad way. I know it’s hard to go from the top social class at high school to being the baby-faced butt of the upperclassmen’s jokes, but that’s just how it goes. Use it as motivation to distinguish yourself!

Lie – You’ll be either best friends or mortal enemies with your roommate.
You might be, but you’ll probably have a peaceful acquaintanceship. It’s like having a sibling that you don’t know all that well, but still kind of like and have to live with. Besides, with social media, it’s easy to network with incoming freshman and meet likeminded peers to request to room with.

Truth – It’s overwhelming.
Colleges are big, schedules are different than in high school, and you don’t have classes with anyone you know. Itis overwhelming, but not only in negative ways. There are tons of opportunities – ever been to an involvement fair? Count the booths, it’s amazing! You’re drowning in opportunities, so go seize some of them!

Truth – You “find yourself” at college.
I’ve always hated this phrase, but now I’m seeing how true it is. Separated from the protection of your parents, it becomes your responsibility to claim your beliefs as your own, not just your parents’. College is where the moral rubber hits the road and you discover what you actually think and what you’ve taken for granted for the past twelve years. It’s an exciting, but scary, aspect of growing up.

Lie – The “freshman fifteen.”
Well, it’s not a total lie. I’m sure it happens, but it’s not inevitable! There are organizations devoted to all different kinds of nutrition and fitness, fantastic gyms, and great spaces to run and exercise outdoors on college campuses. Most dining halls offer a wide variety of food, too, so you can suit your eating habits to your nutritional needs.

Truth – Eating alone in the dining hall is awkward.
I can vouch for this – it feels weird eating at a two-seater all by yourself. So don’t. Get up and make conversation with someone you don’t know and forget the awkwardness. Chances are, they feel as uncomfortable as you do and would appreciate someone taking the effort to

Truth – You can get away with skipping classes as long as you do well on the homework and tests.

You can. You won’t be expelled, but be warned – professors have ways of incentivizing attendance. With participation grades, in-class entrance or exit tickets, or test material not included in the text book, professors and instructors have consequential ways of getting students to that pesky 8 a.m. Going to class is important regardless and you only hinder yourself by not attending (Go to class!).

Lie – I can’t do anything important as an undergrad.
Simply not true! Undergraduates have all sorts of opportunities before them – if they know where to look. This is why going to professors’ office hours, attending involvement and career fairs, and keeping up with your university on social media are so important. Research, volunteer, and involvement opportunities may not be blatantly advertised, but if you do well in class, attend events, and just talk to people, you’ll find more and more of them on your radar.

Now, my fellow freshmen, get out there and defy those myths about college!

Sarah R. Warren is a student of English Literature and Political Science at Florida State University. Her work has appeared in Ant vs Whale, Creative Communications' 2014 Spring Anthology, HowlRound, and the PULP magazine. Her poetry has received an honorable mention, Silver Key, and Gold Key from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She is grateful to God for the opportunity to write at Uloop and attend such a wonderful university.

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