From the horrible lunches to having to ask to use the restroom, from the crowded and poorly executed rallies to the intimidating and cliquey atmosphere—I think we can collectively agree that high school wasn’t always the best place. Maybe that’s why high school teachers did their best to warn us about how much more insane college would be. Whether they were simply enjoying the fear they were creating, or acting on their best intentions and trying to prepare us for the real world, we can’t deny college is a lot different than what our teachers told us it would be.
Ever hear these lies from your high school teachers about what our college experience would be like?
MLA formatting is life.
Wrong. During the very first quarter of college, I took a class that required me to write all my papers in APA format (something I hadn’t even heard about until that moment), and as a Communication major, I’m still expected to write my papers in APA format. I have used MLA format for a total of one class in the two years I’ve been at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP). I guess it would’ve been cool if my teachers warned me that MLA wasn’t the universally used format.
Each class you miss will drop you a whole letter grade.
We all have that one professor who you decide is your favorite during syllabus week. You know… the one who tells you they never take attendance? I mean it makes sense, right? Their mentality is that we pay tuition, so we should be able to decide whether or not we go to class. And it’s completely true—we should be able to decide. But don’t take advantage of this. Go to class.
Professors will never remind you about due dates or exams.
If I could take every single Blackboard email alert I’ve received for an upcoming assignment or exam and forward it to my high school teachers, their inboxes would most likely combust. Granted, there are professors who expect you to soak in your due dates after the first time it’s mentioned, but most of the time, they give you the courtesy of never letting you forget how long you need to stay up tonight studying.
If you’re late, the professor will lock the door and refuse to let you into class.
While there are some scary professors out there who like to do this, the professors at CPP are pretty forgiving… for the most part. Of course, if you have an exam scheduled and you’re late, your professor has every right to deny you from taking the test. But for a normal everyday lecture? The most a professor will do is raise an eyebrow at you if you’re late. College professors really aren’t as scary and intimidating as high school teachers made them out to be.
In the real world you won’t always have a calculator.
This isn’t even a lie about college specifically, but high school teachers loved using this as an excuse to prevent us from using our calculators during tests. But they’re definitely right! I won’t have a calculator; I’ll have my smartphone.
Professors will only lecture verbally, and you’ll just have to hope you catch everything on your notes.
Tell that to the PowerPoint with 70 million slides I have to sit through in all of my lectures. In fact, not only do we have excruciatingly long PowerPoint presentations to follow during lecture, but these same presentations are often uploaded to Blackboard for students’ convenience. I’m not sure what college was like before I was a student, but our professors today aren’t Satan—just an FYI.
Professors don’t care about your personal life or well-being.
On the last day of my Intro to Modern Agriculture class, my professor brought us snacks and told us that if we ever needed anything at all, her office door was always open to us no matter what. During my political science final, my professor noticed me struggling and walked over to ask if I was doing okay and if I needed a break. When a loved one passed away last year and I missed numerous classes, my biology professor sent me every lecture I needed with the blanks filled in (he liked to have fill-in-the-blank lectures to increase attendance), and my statistics professor let me turn in over five late assignments for full credit (not to mention the countless office hours he devoted to me to try and catch me up). Don’t let anyone fool you—your professors care.
Of course, there were high school teachers that believed in my success so much, I’ll never forget their kindness and support. But I will also never forget the scary stories my other teachers told me about college—the concept alone was scary enough without the exaggerated tales. Maybe it’s just something teachers like to do; I distinctly remember my junior high teachers telling me I would have to write everything in cursive in high school, and college professors will probably try to scare me about what the real world is like, too. Regardless, let’s cool it with the exaggerations—we’re already terrified as it is, thank you.