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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    10 college myths

    College is indescribable. No words do it justice until experienced firsthand. But there are some vital things to make clear about the next few years at the University of Arizona. We call them gaps in education. Important subjects that were taught inaccurately throughout our childhood and high school years. The belief that college is like Animal House, that class will be a walk in the park or that it’s a great idea to pursue that hot English teacher. Counterfeit notions, misconceptions, shams, and falsities, otherwise known as myths. To save you embarrassment on campus, in class or at a party, here are the 10 college myths every UA student should know.

    1 Without a major, you’re a failure

    Don’t fret about declaring the perfect major or having a road map of your life planned out. Most students change their major three to four times. The first two semesters are filled up with general education classes, so don’t rush into a major until you have to. The first year of college is to find new interests, expand your horizons and you’ll have the rest of your life to find a career.

    2 The “Freshman 15” exists

    You will not gain 15 extra pounds unless you religiously eat junk food and cement yourself to your bunk. New studies suggest the new term is the “Freshman 3” where the Social Science Quarterly estimates new college students’ gain on average three pounds. The best way to avoid weight gain is to avoid sugary drinks, eat healthy 80 percent of the time, take advantage of intramural sports and utilize the Student Recreation Center, which stays open until midnight during the school year.

    3 All fraternities and sororities have houses

    UA Greek Life consists of more than 51 chapters but only 13 fraternities and 11 sororities are housed on campus. Besides social fraternities there are business fraternities such as Alpha Kappa Psi, agricultural fraternities such as Alpha Gamma Rho and even an engineering fraternity, like Theta Tau, a chapter since 1930. UA has one of the largest Greek Life systems in the nation and while many stereotypes exist, a good majority of them are also myths.

    4 Class sizes are outlandishly large

    The UA has a 30:1 student to teacher ratio according to The Princeton Review. Granted this is an average of all students freshman through senior year, but the class size is not nearly as grandoise as imagined. There will be those select general education courses held in Centennial Hall that are giant, but courses after the first semester become increasingly smaller.
    Teachers will know you by name if you sit near the front, participate in discussions and visit office hours. All of which will improve your grade, guaranteed.

    5 All Tucson’s Mexican food is made equal

    Arizona is filled with amazing Mexican restaurants, but take caution as not all taste delicious. Chips and salsa, enchiladas, giant burritos and steak fajitas are on most menus but the joints that do it the best are St. Mary’s on Saint Mary’s Road, Guadalajara Grill on Prince Road, Mariscos Chihuahua on Grant Road and Blanco Tacos and Tequila up at La Encantada Mall, a favorite for their fish tacos. For cheaper middle of the road Mexican grub students hit up The Taco Shop on Broadway, El Guero Canelo on 22nd Street or Nico’s Taco Shop on Grant Road.

    6 You should study 24/7

    Most students perform better academically when they give their brains a break. The best advice for how to structure the week is to treat it like a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job. Be as productive as possible in the eight core hours of your day and then in the evenings there will be time to relax, work out, socialize or explore Tucson. There will always be those exceptions when extra evening studying is mandatory to prepare for an exam, but don’t make yourself do that every single day of the week.

    7 College is affordable

    Your parents might have an abundance of wealth. Money may grow on trees, but guess what? In Tucson, trees don’t grow very well, and eventually we as students need to sustain a livable income independently. College is expensive. Academic scholarships will only cover so much. For those lucky students on them, tuition increases are not included, food is expensive, boutiques on University Boulevard are enticing and nails look better painted by professionals. Kiss goodbye hundreds of dollars faster than one can say “Oh my gosh, are those Steve Maddens?” College is a time to live frugally. Find more interesting things to do than spend money. Invest in a piggy bank, volunteer at a non-profit or suntan on the mall with your friends. It will pay off in the long run.

    8 It’s OK to skip class

    Self-control is a skill that develops over time. It takes practice, discipline and doesn’t come naturally to most. This is where skipping class becomes a bad idea. For example, you’re up late preparing for a chemistry exam and want a full eight hours of sleep, but one thing stands in the way, your lecture class at 9 a.m. Instances like these happen and often we skip. But then excuses will start to pile up and rationalizing becomes a habit. Even if the class doesn’t take attendance, study time will be saved if you buck it up, attend class and listen to the professor. Don’t trust your self-control radar just yet and don’t have more than three absences in classes.

    9 Everyone drinks

    Peer pressure changes from high school to college. It is no longer cool to make fun of the person who decides not to drink. In fact, that person might become your best friend and your designated driver. A poll showed that 30 percent of college students chose not to drink alcohol at all. Freshman year parties will be a mix of sober, tipsy, and highly intoxicated nerds, jocks, greeks and the party crashers that no one knows. Whichever category you find yourself in keep in mind one thing, jungle juice is not a Capri Sun flavor and drunk driving is never a good idea.

    10 Tucson is dirty

    Tucson is a gem. It just takes a little polishing to find the beauty. Mountains are visible from every part of the UA campus. Fourth Avenue screams with culture, sidewalk music, aromatic coffee shops, family-owned restaurants, energetic bars and soon, a new light rail system. Downtown has historical theaters, hotels and music halls. Travel up to Mount Lemmon to feel a 20-degree drop in temperature or hike Sabino Canyon to feel on top of the world. Tucson is not dirty, and if you see dirt or trash, do something other than repeating that phrase to your Phoenix friends. Clean it up, recycle, be a humanitarian for a day.

    — Courtney L’Ecuyer is the perspectives editor. She can be reached at or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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