There are a lot of expectations that come with attending university for the first time. These are invariably promoted in society in the form of movies portraying university life, stories passed down through generations, blurbs in magazines and mental pictures derived from books. However, many of these assumptions are actually myths.
1.You will make all of your friends within the first week of school.
There’s a massive expectation, usually in the form of fear and excitement-or both-,with regards to meeting new individuals at university. Fear not first-year people, the first month of school does not define your social group. There are many different people across campus, so don’t feel pressured to stick to the one group that you met during frosh week. Take your time exploring different friendships and relationships, and most importantly, don’t feel pressured to maintain a relationship you’re uncomfortable with.
2. All students consume tons of alcohol.
A common expectation that most students have coming into university is the importance of the drinking culture on campus. This myth is portrayed extensively in movies and TV shows, and is thus implanted in the minds of most high school students. That’s not to say that students don’t drink—but it is true that not everyone at McGill is a part of the drinking culture. While Montreal has a reputation for a lively nightlife, the city also offers a lot of other options if you’re not quite feeling a drink.
3. Your grades will drop, but first year doesn’t count.
Many people entering university are told that first year is the year to kick back, relax, and have fun. The notion that students do not have to try in first year is completely false. Yes, university is a time to get out and enjoy what the campus and student life have to offer, but that’s no excuse to forget about grades and extra-curricular activities. It’s important to establish a work-life balance in first year.
4. The ‘Freshman 15’ is inevitable.
One of the most recurring myths about students’ first years at university is the Freshmen 15. An increase in weight is not inevitable. How much you weigh depends on how you treat your body, whether it’s with regards to exercise, food consumption, or alcohol consumption. Some may gain the Freshman 15 due to personal choices, but there are many who will not. It will be completely up to you.
5. You should choose courses that guarantee good grades.
It is common for students to prioritize choosing a course that they are not interested in for the sole purpose of getting a good grade. Though grades are certainly important, it’s even more important to explore your options at university. There is a huge variety of courses within a degree that will make the education you receive extremely rewarding. A challenging course should not deter you from pursuing your interests.
6. You need to decide on your major right away.
This misconception creates stress, which influences the choices that many individuals make in university—especially when it comes to choosing courses. While you should definitely consider your plans for the future, it is completely okay to explore your options and to step out of your comfort zone to see what different fields have to offer you. Furthermore, university is not vocational training—in the future, you might get a job that’s completely irrelevant to your major.
7. The food offered in campus cafeterias is horrible.
There seems to be always a negative connotation associated with the term ‘cafeteria food.’
While there are certainly awful cafeterias out there, you won’t have to worry about that at McGill. McGill has dining halls in most of its residences, including Royal Victoria College, the Bishop Mountain Hall, Carrefour Sherbrooke, and New Residence Hall. With food ranging from sushi to freshly grilled ribs to locally-themed food days, these cafeterias will not disappoint.