8 Myths About College

Myth #1 – It’s better to get good grades than take challenging courses.

When you have even modest success in advanced or accelerated courses, it indicates to a college that you can handle challenging courses – like those you will find in college. A challenging college preparatory program or some advanced placement courses will help you get into more selective colleges.

Myth #2 – The standardized tests (ACT, PSAT, & SAT) are more important than your high school grades.

Colleges know that your performance in high school is a better predictor of college success than the standardized tests. That does not mean that most colleges will ignore your SAT or ACT scores

Myth #3 – I need to decide on my career before I can choose a college.

College is your time to explore. Except in a few specific situations, you can choose a major in your sophomore year and still complete the degree in four years. A surprising number of students discover their ideal field while taking a course they didn’t expect to like. If you’re not ready, don’t let well-meaning friends pressure you into deciding on a major field or a career before you choose a college. Take your time.

Myth #4 – You can’t get into a selective college if you did poorly in 9th or 10th grade.

Colleges look for improvement in performance as a sign that you can and will do the work. In fact, a vast improvement as a junior and senior indicates to a college that you have settled down. However, do not expect to catch up for three poor years in one good semester as a senior.

Myth #5 – If I haven’t heard of a college or university, it can’t be very good.

You may not hear about many of the nation’s finest colleges until you are well into your adult life. Athletics on television is how most colleges get to be known, but many great colleges do not get that kind of exposure. Some of the nation’s finest colleges don’t play big-time athletics. Judge a college on its own merits. Don’t let name recognition determine a good or bad college.

Myth #6 – Colleges need students so it’s easier to be admitted.

Selective private colleges and most state-supported colleges and universities get more qualified applicants than they can possibly accept. While some colleges are having difficulty attracting students, many of these have chosen to get smaller rather than admit unqualified students. Some colleges have lowered their standards, but this also can be a problem for you. The admissions standards might have been lowered, but what a college and its faculty expect of students might not have changed.

Myth #7 – You should go to the most prestigious college to which you are admitted.

You should go to the college that “fits” you best. If it happens to be prestigious, that’s fine. However, fit has to do with how you feel when you are on campus, that matches with how you learn and how the professors teach, along with the academic pressure you can handle. If the college isn’t a good match, you will be unhappy regardless of the prestige.

Myth #8 – Big colleges are best if you haven’t decided on a major field.

Many students think that because there are more courses to choose from, a large college offers greater options for undecided students. However, choices alone should not be the deciding factor. If you are undecided, the best college is one that has core requirements or distribution requirements that ensure you will explore new areas and fields.

Copyright ©2016 Jay Colby All Rights Reserved.

About Jay Colby

Some would categorize me as an entrepreneur, life coach, son, friend and all of the above. I’m just another person trying to find my way in this world. Until recently, I was unsure what my path in this life would consist of. Like many others I was between I know what I want to do but not sure if that’s what I’m supposed to do. I am currently finishing my degree in something that has nothing to do with becoming a writer or entrepreneur so automatically it qualifies me to become one right! Follow me as I go through this journey called life to impact and encourage one person at a time.
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76 Responses to 8 Myths About College

  1. Myth #3 – I need to decide on my career before I can choose a college: very true! I mean, I finished my undergrad, but I’m in medical school right now. Everyone always asks, “What type of doctor are you going to be?” And it’s an answer that’s constantly evolving! First year I said, “Pedes surgery,” now I’m thinking “Pedes neuro,” but I’m going to laugh if I change it again, to like, OB (which is one I’m almost positive I’m not interesed in lol.)

    Liked by 10 people

  2. Laxmi says:

    Hi there,

    Nicely written and it’s just what I think about college too.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog and liking my post.

    Best wishes,


    Liked by 5 people

  3. mujtaba says:

    about to start college so these myths are pretty relate-able and somewhat hilarious to hear from a distance

    btw, cool stuff u got going on here, dunno if its odd to point out that I think that you have a consistently awesome arsenal of blog pics.
    also thanks for liking a few posts on my blog.
    Your stuff has got be hooked bro

    Liked by 4 people

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  5. madelyn says:

    ahhh thank you for this! I’m a senior right now and have just finished submitting all my applications (literally an hour ago hahaha) so this was nice to read – espeicially as there’s so much pressure right now to have essentially the rest of my life figured out now!

    Liked by 6 people

  6. addie north says:

    I’d like to add one more–many people ignore the cost of college and assume that their income afterward will be enough to pay back the debt. I strongly encourage everyone to think carefully about the amount of debt you can reasonably take on, and compare it to the income and job prospects in your field when choosing where to go to school. For many fields, you don’t need a degree from a top competitive school to get a good job. Choosing a local or state school could save you tens of thousands of dollars, which lets you focus on the next steps in your life (buying a house, starting a family) instead of bogging you down in debt! One of the best decisions I ever made was choosing not to go to my dream school and opting instead for the program that offered me the biggest scholarship.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Myth#9 I need to take college seriously or I won’t become successful. hahaha

    A lot of billionaires just entered college but didn’t finish because they meet their fellow wierdos and established their own businesses.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Life Memoirs Blog says:

    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 5 people

  9. kylefanning says:

    This post was great. My particular university was not nationally recognized or prestigious but after staying there a few years, I realized that the faculty had been trained at these “elite” universities and provided great knowledge for the students. This is true that good education does not have to come at a higher price!

    Liked by 5 people

  10. J L Hunt says:

    Good to know, some very valuable points made 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  11. As someone who has jumped from community college to a private institution (heeeellllloooo loans!) To finally settling down at a medium sized school, with an average price, these myths are spot on and full of valuable information for those just finishing high school, or those wanting to go back. Good job Jay.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Carley says:

    Wish I would have seen this when I was in high school! lol

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Thank you for your post! I will surely consider some of your standpoints, especially #7. I’m glad I read this, as I will be applying to college next semester.
    I am new to this blog world, mind checking out some of my posts and telling me your opinion as well. I will really appreciate it. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Pingback: College Myths – Newark College Promise Scholarship Program

  15. dannyj045 says:

    Good post and very valid points. I think many people need to educate themselves about the realities of college. I recently started a blog about my law school experience check it out if you have a chance.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. I’ll be going to college in a few months, and this post just reaffirmed the specific decisions I made. Thanks for this! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Do you have any advice for someone who thinks they might have chosen the wrong college but are too afraid to change colleges?

    Liked by 4 people

  18. I went to Bryn Mawr College in PA my first yr before the transfer to the ivy Univ of PA. BMC was more rigorous, more intense with many smaller, intimate classes that afforded you precious time with the professor. The larger univ had a more assembly-line feel to it, though this factor and class size depend on one’s major. It helps to identify some of one’s interests and to look at class offerings before settling on a school, of course.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. You’re spot on. I’ve taught at four different colleges, and your advice makes sense for all of them. Some professors are huge jerks, but some of us do whatever we can to help people succeed.

    Liked by 5 people

  20. Eric Bruin says:

    Myth #1 is a big mistake people make once they get into college. Employers look for people who challenge themselves!

    Liked by 5 people

  21. Jay, great posting. This posting is another evidence that school counselors are not doing their jobs period. This is why I exist! Break Free Training. Great list, though.

    Liked by 5 people

  22. Gastradamus says:

    Glad to know that some of these things are myths, very informative post, we like it. Would love to hear your thoughts on our new short story called Eatin an Eskimo. Your thoughts are very important to me and I hope to hear your feedback

    Liked by 5 people

  23. This is insightful information. I’m particularly a fan of #1 but with the probably quite obvious caveat that there is such a thing as too challenging so be careful not to get in over your head. Great info, Jay.

    Liked by 5 people

  24. Candy says:

    Jay this is a much need post and I hope parents Andy students headed for college get a chance to read this. Great and useful information.

    Liked by 5 people

  25. This is a great collection of tips! It makes me think back to my own college days.

    Liked by 5 people

  26. caendicott says:

    My experience with Myth #1 was a joke. In any case, college classes were easier than my AP courses, and that’s including my upper level undergraduate classes.

    Liked by 4 people

  27. Pretty good insight. From my experience, I would add that feeling like you have to go to college would be a myth. I have two degrees from two schools and only use one. I wish I knew that I didn’t necessarily have to go. I always was under the impression that it was the ‘next step’.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. Great post Jay! I graduated from college last spring and agree with everything you listed.

    I arrived at college having absolutely no clue what I wanted to study–and didn’t declare until the first semester of my Junior year! And if I’m to be honest, I wish I would have studied something completely different now that I’m in the workforce.

    My advice to those in school is to think long-term. Suck up as much information and experience as possible. Don’t just get by in classes. Make your time and money count. So many get off track with partying and it can have horrible outcomes. Be mature. Set your life up for success and things that actually matter in the future.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. vvibrance says:

    As my high school last exam is on monday and entrance exam for college are approaching, these were the common things I heard all the time while I was filling up forms. I know these all are myths but still I’m so scared if I’ll be selected in the college I want or not.

    Liked by 4 people

  30. Katelyn Hawkes says:

    Agreed, epecially #3

    Liked by 1 person

  31. angie church says:

    thank you for clearing up the college world myths. It seems that there is never enough to be said about the college world. Sometimes though you never can be sure what to believe
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Vinay says:

    Very true indeed! But most realise it, by the time they realise it they’d be grasuated!

    Liked by 2 people

  33. lisakunk says:

    Such a good list of valuable information.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Yuna says:

    I completely agree on #3, I just recently shared my thoughts on giving up on my career path, and this really resonated with me

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Awesome post !! I’m going to show the seniors at my school – they’re all a bit dazzled by the number of university choices they’ve been given 😩

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Myth #7 is super vital. The book “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell discusses how for many students, choosing the most prestigious option actually makes them more likely to fail. This is because they may have been the top of their class in high school, but being in an environment of all over achievers actually makes them feel insignificant in comparison. It’s the difference of being a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a little pond.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Sukanya Dev says:

    I just completed my sophomore year and college actually turned out different from what I had expected in my senior high school. It is more about experiences than the education, learning by unlearning. I enjoyed reading this post.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. I have just completed my college and I must say your points were hands down relatable in every way. Great observation there! Kudos!

    Liked by 2 people

  39. katybronsk says:

    Disagree on #3 because different universities are ranked differently for different majors.
    Trying to get into the best Uni for you major, you increase your chances of getting in. (For example, my University is not that well ranked over all but is considered one of the best in energy + accounting so was easier to get into. Therefore, if you want to do accounting, you should go to my University and it would be easier to get in than into an Ivy League but if, let’s say, you want to do psychology, you should go to some other place.) Also, in Europe, this approach will not work because you apply directly to the major and in England, you even have to go through “admission interviews” specifically for your major, in which you will be asked why you want to study it. Also, if you want to do something like High Finance or work at an elite law firm, prestige + brand recognition matters. A lot. So you should go to the best ranked University, in those cases.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. katybronsk says:

    I disagree on #3 because universities are ranked differently for different subjects and it will be easier to get into the best college for your career if you focus on the specific major rather than the over all University. Also, in Europe, you can’t just apply to University. You have to choose a specific major before applying and in England they even do admission interviews, in which you need to explain why you applied for that specific major. Also, if you want to go into high Finance, prestige + brand name matters. A lot. (I had a friend who made this mistake and basically had to give up on his dream because of it).

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Sara T. says:

    Thank you, I’ll be college soon and this was very helpful.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. neyaonline says:

    I completely agree with #3. I entered college as an international business major only to switch to communication and then switch again to graphic design. And now I’m happier than ever!

    Liked by 2 people

  43. foreverwriting26 says:

    As a 2nd year college student, I completely agree with this! Adding on to it, you should pick a college because YOU like it, not because Tim’s dad down the street went to it or because your parents want you close (or far) from home. Look at all the aspects and decide accordingly.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. simplykailin says:

    Totally agree with all your points especially #5 &#7. I ended up choosing a university that I didn’t know at first and isn’t the most prestigious one that I got admitted. Well written!

    Liked by 2 people

  45. ellamonia says:

    I really like #3. Even now in college, I feel like there is such a big emphasis on career preparation. So much stress over planning and preparing for the future. I wish there was a bigger emphasis on self-exploration and following passions.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Incognita says:

    Reblogged this on Incognita Sole.

    Liked by 2 people

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