The internet is both a blessing and a disaster–you find both truths and myths on it in terms of every single subject and university life is not an exception. Here is a list of things not to believe in when you read about them:
#1: High GPAs Are Absolutely Unattainable For the Vast Majority Of People
Some schools, majors of study, and/or courses are rumored to be so challenging that allegedly no one is able to get a good grade in them. If you hear something along these lines, do not believe it wholeheartedly. Such a belief will implant a negative mindset impeding you from succeeding, because you have just found a perfect excuse for not doing well. When you struggle, you are likely to comfort yourself by thinking “oh, that is expected. No one can excel in this anyway” as opposed to pushing yourself a little to get through if you buy into this conception, so do not let this belief take hold of you.
If the above is not enough assurance, I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto – a program with an alleged dropout rate of 30% at a school with a 2.94 GPA according to many unofficial online sites such as Reddit, yet I finished my first year with a 3.8 GPA without sacrificing all my downtime or suffering from severe sleep deprivation. I am in no way a gifted student; the one thing I did was not give up even when my grades were not picking up. Like many things in life, university is a long pursuit, so immediate progress should not be expected. You will only be able to claim your reward if you make it to the end.
#2: Textbooks Should Be Your Main Study Material
If you have ever walked by university bookstores and been intimidated by the size of the textbooks, you are not alone. It is true that a lot of them are bulky, and yes, you will be studying from some of the bulky ones. However, that does not mean you have to know the entirety of all your hefty textbooks by heart. Many professors do not follow the textbook; instead, they often teach the same concepts but use different examples and case studies to illustrate the point. Some professors only teach selected chapters of the textbook. Therefore, you should not aim to finish reading everything in your textbook–the lecture slides your professors provide to you are much better indications of what is important and how you will be tested. Focus on what your professors emphasize and how they iterate the key ideas.
#3: You Need To Figure Out Exactly What You Want To Do For the Rest Of Your Life
During University many students are overwhelmed by the idea of choosing their career path after university.
Somehow the belief that one needs to know what to pursue and where one is headed at the age of 22 is widely accepted when it is really not the case. It is rare to find someone who sticks with the same company for decades now; talk to some alumni with about 10 years of work experience, and you will realize many of them have had a change of heart and are doing different things than what they thought they would do just out of university. Most people, especially youngsters entering the job market, hop around trying various different things before they decide to settle down. Therefore, there is no need to feel the pressure of having to plan everything out for the rest of your life. It is perfectly OK not to know what you like yet–pick something you are OK with, start there after graduation, and switch gears if you find more suitable options later on.