8 Biggest Misconceptions Of First Year Students

8 Misconceptions ( And Facts) Of First Year Students
8 Misconceptions ( And Facts) Of First Year Students

As you all prepare to study in a university for the first time in your lives. I thought it’d be great to share eight  of the most incorrect assumptions-and related facts-for students heeding to university for the first time.

Freshers don’t get A’s

Most freshers don’t expect to start off well, They expect to ‘feel their way’ through the first semester and get lower grades than secondary school. The fact is that Freshers get A’s.  Lecturers normally have a form of distribution in their grading scale, meaning that from 15%-20% typically get an A, for example.

Plan on getting A on your very first semester, then work very harder than you ever have to achieve them. Once you do, you will know that you’re capable and your confidence level will sky-rocket, and your pattern of success would surely follow throughout university.

Read more about calculation of university grades here

Grades in your year one is not as important as grades in your subsequent years

Your first year, especially if you are offering other allied disciplines or ‘borrowed courses’, may not be your favourite in university ( You might be surprised that you would like them incredibly) The reality is that a 4-credit unit class counts for more than a 2-credit class. Your CGPA is the metric your future employer will be interested in. Your year one grade matters, a lot.

You can get involved in extracurricular organizations “later”

While this is literally true, the reality is that those who join organizations as freshers, establish themselves firmly and take on bigger leadership roles subsequently. The cost of waiting to get involved is that you may end up in line behind other more proactive students when it comes time to advance in an organization. These extra curricular organizations are the best place to acquire leadership and interpersonal skills.

I can start the work ‘later’

Procrastination might be your single biggest enemy in college. It is typical to think you can play and catch up in university, just like you did in secondary school. Unfortunately, with university-level workload, you’ll often find that you have three or four tests in a week, so it’s much easy to just keep up with your work than try to dig yourself out of multiple holes later. You’ll also absorb the material more effectively, and ultimately achieve better results.

Read: How to tackle procrastination.

University students go out a LOT

Yes, university students generally go out more than secondary school students. But the most successful achievers also typically do things like get up before class and study, study on Fridays before they go out, and study all-day and evening on Sunday. Balance and time management are the keys to success.

Sleep also helps – if you have lectures on Friday, staying out until 3am on Thursday night is a losing proposition. Finally, going out the night before a test, or even two nights before an exam is a poor choice. You’ll have four years of fun in the university. You don’t have to have “all” of it in your first year.

Your study technique in secondary school will work in the university

Your secondary school study habit might work in the university. But, it is very likely that they won’t. You spent 8-9 hours per day in secondary school in class and in transit to and from school. In college, you’ll spend 3-4 hours per day in class in college, and need to study MUCH more than you did in high school.

Success will require a different approach. My favorite approach is getting up each day by 8am, and working straight through until 5pm every day, regardless of your class schedule. This will give you a huge jump-start on the studying required to be successful at the next level.

One more helpful hint here. Even if your bed was your study spot of choice in high school, you’ll need to get out of your hostel  and find a better environment to focus and retain information in the university.

I may have gotten in, but can’t compete at this university

Universities are normally at their best when giving admission. They’ve been doing it for a while. If you get in, it means you can do the work. Don’t be intimidated by the some of the students around you. You’re there because the professionals in the admissions office were confident you could do the work.

It’s the choices you make from here, not your inherent abilities, that will define your success on the journey ahead. Great study habits, time management, smart spending, and other great decisions will be the difference.

Students who go to the best schools get the best jobs

This may be the biggest university misconception of all. While strong performers at strong schools will get great jobs, strong performers at a broad range of schools will get great jobs.  Get the right grades, build the right track record with your extracurricular activities, get great work experience, and doors will open up for you.


One of the best things about the  university is that it’s a fresh start for everyone. Regardless of your performance in secondary school, you’ll have a new opportunity to set yourself apart from other students and take the step necessary to take yourself to the top of the class.

Wish you the best, because you deserve it!


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