Top 10 Misconceptions about College Students

College life is an experience of its own full of great memories and stressful times. Unbeknownst to most, parties, pizza, and beer are not all that college is all about.


Money – It Does Not Grow On Trees

Usually, when one thinks of a typical college student, they picture someone living on campus, with a dorm full of nice, new furniture, a big screen TV, the newest laptops and books, and a refrigerator full of food. However, contrary to popular belief, not all of which are in a typical student’s dorm room. According to Jonathan M. Orszag, Peter R. Orszag, Diane M. Whitmore, the average college student makes “$7.50” an hour on a “part-time” rate. That is roughly $150 – $300 a week, $600 – $1,200 a month, or $7,500 – $14,400 a year.

In addition, they report that the more a student works, their grades tend to plummet. Studies have shown working at least “10 hours” will affect the GPA to a “2.94,” while working “40 hours” brought the GPA to a “2.63.” In other words, for every 10 hours a student works, it brings their grades down by 10.



Free Time – Everyone Has It…Kind of

An average full-time college student is required to study at least 24 to 36 hours a week. Yet, a study reported by Marie Mandelberg shows that, in reality, college students study 14 hours a week. This is mainly due to procrastination and lack of motivation and effort. Students tend to slack off by being on the internet, not being productive, instead of doing homework or anything useful. Besides, this study explained that it is not student so of specific fields of study, it is all of them.

Some of those in charge of the study believe that the schools are enabling this behavior. They also believe it is learned from students’ “friends,” peers, older siblings, and upper-classmen students. It taught, not a phenomenon. Surprisingly enough, a given reason by a student affiliated with the study said why study or do homework if another just shows up for the exams and passes by that alone? “That’s not the purpose of an education.”


Partying – Conservative College Partygoers

College is a place known for hard work, constant studying, and mass consumptions of Top Ramen Noodles. Among those things, parties are somehow squeezed in students’ already busy schedule. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported by Dr. Robert Brewer, MD, M.P.H. that 1-in-4 (25%) college students dangerously binge drink throughout their college careers, while 73% drink occasionally. This is an average taking into consideration of all colleges across the country, not just well known party schools, like UCSB (Santa Barbara), UI (Iowa), UF (Florida), and SU (Syracuse).

Surprising, though, Kelci Lynn Lucier from USNews stated that 696,000 students reported being assaulted by drunken students. Moreover, that is just the ones that came forward or were taken to the hospital. So, keep in mind about those who do not report the assault.


Homework Loads – Drowned By Classwork

College students are expected to study two to three hours for every credit in their workload a week. For instance, a full-time course load is roughly four sections at three units each. That is 24 to 36 hours of studying per week, an entire day’s to day and half’s worth of just studying. For example, the University of Minnesota’s Policy Statement expresses their extraneous workload for the average class offered requiring “1 credit x 3 hours of work per week x 14 or 15 weeks in a semester equals 42 to 45 hours of academic work. Thus, enrollment for 15 credits in a semester represents approximately 45 hours of work per week, on average, over the course of the semester.” That is “including lectures, laboratories, recitations, discussion groups, field work, study, and so on.”

Therefore, as an average student at University of Minnesota, 27% (45 Hours) of a week’s time (168 Hours) is taken up by just studying alone. That is not taking into account for eating, sleeping, getting to and from school, and any leisure time to distress from class.



Extra-Curricular Activities – Some Needed R&R

When students are not in class, studying, or sleeping, they have certain schedules and activities, depending on the college and city’s culture. For instance, Ultimate Frisbee would be practiced at UCSD (San Diego), while indoor Lacrosse would be practiced at UM (Montana). Nonetheless, students have a particular way to rest and relax.

A survey by Allen Grove on, showed students hangout with each other and friends, spend hours on Facebook, go to parties, watch movies and television, and read materials separate from homework on countless platforms (books, magazines, ebooks, web pages, etc.). In other words, students chose anything passionate outside of the classroom. It does not seem to matter what the students do after class, just as long as they do something.



The College Diet – Wholesome, Healthy Meals

As a current college student myself, I can safely say that there is a lot of Top Ramon, pizza, frozen burritos, chips, and sandwiches, mainly PB & J’s. Happy Hooves reported in College Nutrition a typical college student’s diet consisting of cold sandwiches, pizza, bread, potatoes, vegetables, and, more importantly, beer. This constant nutritious diet is thanks to the massive amounts of money the common student is in possession of.

Thanks to places like Costco, Sam’s Club, and certain participating Walmart’s, we are able to purchase those frozen burritos, pizzas, cup of noodles, lunch meats, and loafs of bread in bulk quantities at fair prices, so our stomachs, refrigerators, and kitchen cupboards and cabinets full, and our wallets or purses with at least some cash. However, there are those special, rare days when our or roommate’s parents bring or take us out to dinner. Those moments are one in a dozen, though.


Priorities – Science Labs or Essay?

When taking multiple classes in college, it is bound to happen that one will have to choose one project over another. It is an inevitable conflict. I have certainly fallen victim to decisions like this, and everyone in or has been in college can say so, too. Alongside with the daily choices students face every day off campus, they are being challenged with decisions in class, as well. For example, one class may assign an essay due the same time a speech or presentation is due, and you must weigh out with one is worth more, or, in some cases, which one can you turn in later with the least amount of credit reduced for tardiness.

Although, there are some students whose priorities are not quite…prudent. For some, choosing to go out to a party or bar is more important than homework. By this, nothing gets accomplished, and the possible chance of not making to class, because of the work not being completed. Procrastination is indeed a serious poison.



Working – Having a Job While Schooling For Another

Many people of all ages work at jobs that you may not even expect them being a student. Some are cashiers, servers, stockers, fry cook, customer service representative, custodians, baggers, and any other low-end job that pays the bills. According to Snagajob, the top jobs college students have are cashiers, sales clerks, and delivery driver.  Sadly, though, some of these jobs are only offered as part-time, especially to students.

At the same time, a full-time job is as stressful as having one part-time. A full-time job means more cash for necessities, but having less time for homework. While a part-time job leaves a somewhat open schedule for homework, however, you do not make as much money for needed items. There are some advantages and disadvantages of both types of employment. So, when you see a young man or woman waiting on a table, or restocking a shelf, or even behind the counter at a register, they may be in college, going through their own life’s hardships.



Fear of Failure – Everyone Suffers From It

We all have fears of several kinds. Some big, some small. However, the fear of failing and dropping out of college is enough to break down even the smartest, most mature minds in the world. Have you ever been so scared to do something, you avoided it entirely? Well, college students experience that feeling on a daily routine. Most students do not seek help for this fear. Furthermore, because of this distress, it adds anxiety to a student’s already stress-filled life.

With life, waves upon waves of homework, and the fear of stress is enough to drive even the most confident students to drop out of college, and pursue other forms of making a livelihood. Do not be discouraged, though. Life its bumps and potholes on a road up a tall hill, but eventually the path with smooth out and you can coast downhill.



Depression– It Effects Everyone

PsychCentral reported that 44% of college students admitted having depression in 2012. 45% female and 36% of male students in 2006 answered “yes” to a question regarding depression on a survey for college health. As a whole, that is almost half of the student population! Moreover, 30% of those 44% of students reported feeling “so depressed that it was difficult to function.” This is a serious issue. If you were to picture a typical student attending a university, one would think they are happy by not going to class, hanging out with friends and roommates, and constantly going to parties they would be happy, care-free, but you would be wrong.

Fortunately, though, most colleges and universities offer free or low-cost mental health services for their students. With an early diagnosis, treatments are simple and easy to manage for future setbacks.

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