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Culture Shock: Myths and Facts About Life at the University

Pao P

You may have heard about the dreaded adjustment period referred to as "culture shock" which majority of freshmen go through during their first semester.

So what is "culture shock"? Generally speaking, it is a mix of emotions; confusion, stress and anxiety, as you realize your powerlessness in the new environment you've been placed upon, often foreign from the one you've been used to. This commonly happens to high school graduates, as you try to fit in with college life. Studies show that performance during the freshman year often plummets due to this, and students find themselves discouraged by the mere feeling of being lost without guidance in the overwhelming flow of the academic calendar. Culture shock is usually experienced by those who are unprepared on what to expect beyond the gates of the University. 

So, how do we at least brace for the impact over this exciting new chapter of your life? Today, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions to prove facts - and bust myths - about life in the University.

Culture Shock: Myths and Facts About Life at the University

Universities are Unaffordable

The truth is out there that studying is REALLY expensive. But that is not always the case! While it is true that top notch schools out there are commercialized as highly expensive as they are elite, this should not discourage students from pursuing their career over more practical choices that would save them the dollars in the long run. Some even offers the cheapest tuition fees to accommodate your program of choice, while others have scholarships and financial assistance to help you. can help you with searching nearby Universities that offer these incentives to students.

Culture Shock: Myths and Facts About Life at the University

University Life is All About Studying and Nothing Else

You're studying habits will certainly change from what you are accustomed to in high school, and overnight cramming just wont work anymore. Because of this, most students believe that the University life is all about studying, with tons of books and modules and deadlines everywhere. But this is not entirely true!

Students often over-prepare for the rigorous memorization they have to do since day one, and that there will be no room for slack whatsoever. Relax! Learn to manage your schedules and allot time for recreation. Even get yourself a hobby during your time-offs! It will help sustain your morale and keep you in a healthy emotional state. It conditions your mind so that you will be ready for the next module or reading you have to absorb. Get some proper exercise too to get those brain muscles working!

Culture Shock: Myths and Facts About Life at the University

An Academic Program is Only Focused on One Subject and You Must Excel in It

It is a common misconception that every course or academic program focuses on one branch of study all throughout, and you are expected to be an expert in it in order to have a chance. 

While there is definitely nothing stopping you from pursuing the program of your choice, it gives you a certain edge to have a forte at what the course is all about, in general. But having a passion for that subject alone is enough, you don't have to be a "genius" just in order to qualify for it,

Culture Shock: Myths and Facts About Life at the University

Every Professor Has a "Pass or Fail" Attitude

We all feared that particular instructor in high-school that gave this "terror" vibe, and some tell you that they exponentially increased in college!

Although there is a (little) truth in that, all of them are a lot more willing to help their students with the course at the same time. Meeting your share of professors will definitely prove their goodwill towards your success. Work with them and you'll find yourself breezing through your academic life in no time.

Culture Shock: Myths and Facts About Life at the University

Having a Lot of Friends Can Distract You From Your Acads

There is no doubt that you should always put your academics first before everything else, but believe it or not, it's better if you share this experience with companions!

Having friends along the way keeps life interesting, and your University life shouldn't be any different. Forming study groups, attending University events and even having lunch together with your pals can make life a lot easier. 

Culture Shock: Myths and Facts About Life at the University

You Are The Only Person to Help Yourself

This is sort of a bleed out from the point above, but I just could not stress this enough.

Most freshmen are fed with the idea that unlike high school, you will not have a section to call "home" because of your erratic and inconsistent schedule, such as everyone else's, therefore you are left to fend off for yourself. 

I tell you, this could not get anymore FALSE. 

The University life is full of social activities. You can find students on the same interests and hobbies, from clubs, to all your peers during events, and even your professors - all more than enough to provide for a social experience of a lifetime. There will never be a reason to walk this path alone.


By Pao P
Works as Customer Service Representative/Technical at Sykes Asia Inc.