There are many ideas about the various types of colleges to attend, which make it even harder to decide where you want to call home for four incredible years of your life. But, instead of eliminating a possible school that might provide you with incredible opportunity, look over some of these misconceptions about college life.
1. You’ll feel lonely and lost at a big college.
A big college can actually feel small if you connect with a group of people or a series of close friends who make you feel at home. If you’re spending your time with people you love, care about and who have similar interests, then you won’t notice the other 25,000 people walking around campus.
2. You have to go to a school far away (even out of state) to gain independence from your parents.
In reality, you don’t have to go far at all to gain independence from Mom and Dad and separation from your family. If you’re ready to stand on your own two feet, then you can start gaining independence while still under your parent’s roof. Independence isn’t about being able to do whatever you want; it’s about maturity and being able to maintain responsibility. You can go to a school in the same city as your parents and still only see them during summer vacation and holidays. Your independence is up to you, not your zip code.
3. A Christian College is the only place to grow spiritually.
Christian colleges and universities offer great classes on theological subject matter, daily chapels keep you focused on God’s word and the community will inspire great conversation – all of which is great! But, you can become spiritually challenged and grow in an environment that causes you to defend your faith or know what you believe and why you believe it as well.
4. Schools in the city offer the most opportunity.
Living in a city can be expensive which can actually pull you away from potential opportunity. Plus, city schools don’t always have a distinct “college atmosphere,” which is an opportunity in itself. Overall, academic institutions pride themselves on connecting and training students for their future, so opportunity will arise at any location. It’s up to you to pursue it. Depending on your future endeavors, it’s true that you may have to move to the city to find a job after you graduate college. But, keep in mind that you’ll have to move at various times throughout life to go where God is leading you, so a city school doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll plant your roots and stay there.
5. Public school is more affordable than Private school.
Yes, private schools do have a hefty price tag, but there is a lot of opportunity to gain scholarships and financial support, which can help even out the cost of a private school.
6. It’s best to go to a school known for your major.
Sometimes a school that has a reputation for being good in a particular area may limit your ability to branch out and discover new things. These schools may not have as many electives to choose from which restricts your range in education. Additionally, most students don’t really decide and declare a major until their Junior year of college, so if you learn that the major you thought you wanted to pursue in high school isn’t the route you want to take, then you may find that your options aren’t as strong with a college that obtains a particular emphasis.
7. Test out of as many Gen Ed classes as you can.
When it comes to limiting the expense of college, testing out of certain classes is a great way to go. However, if you’re looking for a diverse and broad education from your college experience, then testing out of even your general academic classes may mean your selling yourself short. General education classes at the college level are a lot more diverse than your regular high school classes. There are a lot of interesting subjects available that may lead you to another interest, hobby, viewpoint, passion or even a major. You may even find a new favorite professor who really opens your mind to a whole new perspective.
8. You have to go Greek and Rush.
It’s easy to believe that they only way to connect in college is through the Greek system (pretty much every TV show or movie about college portrays that idea). However, you can find interesting and like-minded people outside the sorority scene. Join a club or intramural team of something that you find interesting, and most importantly find a college ministry or church that has a ministry geared specifically for college aged students. The people that you meet in these Christians settings will be your friends for life.
9. It’s best to go to a four-year school.
There are certain benefits to a four-year bachelor degree, but depending on your interests and desires, that might not be the most suitable for your career. Two year trade schools are excellent options, working to gain experience is also very applicable as well as starting your secondary education at a community college and transferring to a four-year university. Four-year programs are very expensive, so pray about what God plans for your life and let Him guide you down the right path.