5 Myths About College Classes

By Jessica Dickenson
July 11, 2022

As an incoming college freshman, you probably have a lot of preconceived ideas about what college will be like. AP courses, college advising, television, your peers, and the internet probably have given you a good idea of what to expect on your first day of classes. Although all these sources may be a good foundation, here are some common misconceptions about college courses we have debunked.

Myth #1: You don’t need the textbook

We understand that college textbooks can be expensive so it might be tempting to save some money by not buying all your books. However, if the textbook is listed as required, you should be using it! Many students think that they can pass a course by listening to lectures alone. Lectures are invaluable, but the textbook will enhance learning and act as a supplemental guide for areas where the lecture may be lacking. Professors may also decide to put specific content on tests to see who’s following the required readings.

You don’t want to discover you are struggling with the assignment because you didn’t order the textbook. If cost is a source of concern, you can look up resources to help you afford college. There are many resources available!

Myth #2: Morning classes are the worst

If you are not a morning person, waking up for an 8 AM class might seem like a cruel and unusual punishment. Although it might not be the most fun task, waking up early may have some surprising benefits.

According to an article from Huff Post, waking up early directly correlates to better grades. Additional benefits could also include enhanced productivity, better mental health, and improved quality of sleep. One obvious benefit is that you also complete classes earlier in the day. While your friends might be waking at 11 AM for their first class of the day, you could already be finished (and ready to take a nap) ! As an upperclassman, taking morning classes may give you some leverage when you decide to pursue an internship. You can attend classes in the morning and work the remainder of the day, either at your job or catching up on homework.

Myth #3: You don’t have to go to class

When you are in a huge auditorium, it is nearly impossible to keep track of all students. Consequently, many college professors won’t take attendance for their classes. Skipping on lectures may have some short-term benefits, but it can harm you in the long term.

Missing classes can lead to suffering grades through failed pop quizzes, missed lectures, and important study tips that are offered during class. You may discover that you have to put more into making up for missed classes than if you would have attended in the first place. College classes move through the material more quickly than high school courses, you do not know what material you are missing when you skip class.

If you do have to miss class for a valid reason, it is usually a good idea to get another student’s notes.

Myth #4: All classes involve sitting and listening to lectures

In high school, it was important for you to learn and repeat the information that you were taught. When you toured the campus, you probably noticed a lot of lecture halls. While there is a lot of talking in college, it is a different atmosphere!

Liberal Arts education especially focuses on creating professional individuals who can communicate and brainstorm in a variety of different environments. Professors want you to ask questions, interact with texts and terms, and conduct your experiments. While every professor’s teaching style is different, some will encourage students to be active and do things, both in the classroom and outside of it. Labs certainly will require you to do some work in class, but you may be surprised what goes on in ordinary lecture halls!

Myth #5: Finals have an enormous impact on your grades

This last myth is added with a word of caution: final exams are important, so it doesn’t mean that you can brush them off at the end of the semester. What this does mean, is that there usually isn’t an assignment that is pass/ fail at the end of the semester. In many college courses, there will be many assignments that will lead up and help you prepare for the final exam. You won’t encounter a class where the final exam is the only thing that is graded.

Jessica Dickenson

Jessica Dickenson graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran College with degrees in English and communication. She has applied her abilities working as a young marketing professional for a local university but works as a freelance writer and photographer in her spare time. She currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband.
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