Freshman-year me heard stories of the awful roommates, scary professors and long all-nighters in the library. Thankfully, most of the stories that made me nervous to begin my collegiate career were myths thanks to the Wildcat Way.
Myth: There is no extra credit.
I’ll never forget my high school teachers who attempted to make us students appreciate them more by saying, “Don’t take this extra credit work for granted. This won’t happen in college.” Throughout my three years at K-State I have had opportunities to write extra credit papers, take extra credit quizzes and earn extra points by attending lectures and outside-of-class activities. While this might not hold true for every class, most of the professors I had during my college career were willing to work with students to help us succeed.
Myth: You will meet your best friends in the residence halls.
Well, maybe you will. Let’s just say I did not. I once heard someone say college is where you meet people who walk through life the same way as you. This was not a myth; I just do not believe the best time for this to happen is during your underclassmen years. You might meet these people in your major’s extracurricular organization, at your place of work or in the most random of classes. If I had let myself be down after not finding a best friend during my time in West or Haymaker Hall, I might have never found the people who I know will be there for me years after I graduate on May 13.
Myth: Nobody will notice if you don’t go to class.
I pride myself in the fact that I have missed very few college classes due to an illegitimate reason. Perhaps this is because I would feel guilty missing a class, or maybe it is because each lecture is the equivalent of about $60 for an out-of-state student. All I know is I’ll never forget when an instructor emailed me after the first class I had an unexcused absence to make sure everything was OK. It was, but I was just a little extra tired that day. I didn’t miss one of those classes again … teachers care.
Myth: Class parties do not exist.
Another myth from my high school, junior high and elementary school teachers. This week alone I had a doughnut party, a Cinco de Mayo party and an appetizer pizza in three separate classes. That doesn’t even include the barbecue and ice cream at the Grad Bash or the pizza party in the Collegian newsroom for our last production night. College students — and professors — can always find a reason to bring food to class and celebrate.
Myth: You will live in the library.
I can count on two hands the number of times I actually worked on assignments in the beloved Hale Library. Rather, I studied and completed homework in coffee shops, dorm rooms, friends’ apartments and random spots across campus.
Myth: Professors will not get to know you.
Sure, the professor of your freshman-level general education course with 400 students (most likely held in Umberger 105) might not learn everyone’s name. However, that’s not to say they won’t make an attempt, especially since students are encouraged to meet with faculty during their office hours.
The professor of my first 400-person course offered to meet with students over lunch or coffee and talk about class or college life in general. The professor of my agricultural policy course shook over 100 students hands during the first week of class while working to learn the names and a fun fact of each student. The professor of my entomology class will stop and ask me how I am doing when we run into each other on campus. These professors truly do care.
Myth: All-nighters are your best friend.
I have never spent an entire night up working on assignments, studying for a final or writing an essay due the next day. I know all about working on assignments at the last minute, and I also know firsthand that all-nighters can be avoided if that is not your thing.
Myth: You are just a number.
With ever-increasing tuition and fees, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking each student is just a number and part of the university’s master plan to become a top-research university by 2025. This is not true. K-State preaches we are a family, and I am grateful this was not just a recruiting technique, but a way of life. I had advisers who sent me internship information if they thought it was a good fit for me, friends who opened up their homes to me for holiday breaks and mentors who offered to drive me to Lafene Health Center when I felt incredibly sick but did not have a car to drive myself.
Myth: Finals week is the worst week of the entire semester.
At this point in the semester I appreciate the break from three to four classes a day and the readings, homework and daily deadlines that come with the classes. Finals week has actually always been one of my favorite weeks of the semester — despite the few exams — filled with time spent with friends and partaking in activities around Manhattan that I typically do not have the time to enjoy during the rest of the semester.
Kaitlyn Alanis is a senior in agricultural communications and journalism. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to [email protected]