No matter how many guidebooks you read or high school advisors you talk to, the only way to really understand what college is going to be like is to experience it firsthand. Just ask college student Dan Sabato.
The 21-year-old from Philadelphia recently made a list on Tumblr of all the misconceptions he had about college before he got there. He ended up striking a strong note among fellow students -- the post quickly went viral on the social sharing site. Take a look at his chart, below, and let us know if you agree with him in the comments!
In high school they told us: "There will be no grades in a class except the midterm and the final, so you have to study hard because failing one test means you fail the class."
Once I was in college a professor said: "Hey, you guys are working really hard on your third paper, so I'm just going to cancel the final and give everyone '100' on it."
In high school they told us: "In college, class always begins exactly at the scheduled start time. If your class is at 9 a.m. and you get there at 9:01, the doors will be locked and you'll be out of luck -- especially if it's the day of the midterm or final because then you get a zero."
Once I was in college a professor said: "Does anyone mind if I start class at 3:35 instead of 3:30? These elevators are really slow and I want to have time for a cigarette before I teach for 90 minutes."
In high school they told us: "Every class you miss drops you a full letter grade in college courses."
Once I was in college almost every professor said: "You can miss three classes without a penalty, and a few more if you have a doctor's note. Sorry to be a hardass, but you automatically fail if you miss more than 10 days of class."
In high school they told us: "If you do have papers, your professors just lecture and put the assignments on the syllabus. You're completely responsible for remembering the deadlines. They won't remind you. All your professors will do is lecture and the rest is up to you."
Once I was in college a professor said: "Okay, so your next paper is in two weeks! I'll keep reminding you in the interim, but I just want to make sure you have enough time to do it! Let's run through the structure -- I want to see real quick, and if you have any questions, feel free to email me or come to my office hours!"
In high school they told us: "You have to use MLA formatting and if you make any mistakes in your citations, it'll be considered plagiarism. You'll be expelled and probably sued."
Once I was in college almost every professor said: "Please do not use MLA. It is awful. We use either APA or Chicago here because we are not 14 years-old."
Dan also wanted us to make one thing clear: this does NOT mean that college is easy! Head over to Dan's blog to read more from him.
Also on HuffPost:
In Smithtown, New York, gym class isn't an occasion for dread: Instead, it's an opportunity to de-stress. HuffPost Teen reader <a href="https://twitter.com/wengel96/status/308400594236891136">WIll Eng </a>says that his high school offers students four different physical education options: Team or Lifetime Sports, Project Adventure, Personal Fitness and Yoga.
Pets can be a highly effective <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/pets-happiness1.htm">form of stress relief</a>, and high schools are now catching on to the benefits of canine therapy for overworked students. At <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/from-pets-to-recess-high-_n_2593553.html">Prospect High School </a>in Mount Prospect, Illinois, the school counseling team includes Junie, an 18-month-old Golden Retriever that acts as a "therapy dog" to comfort and soothe the student body.
A <a href="http://www.tm.org/blog/students/school-stress/">2011 UCLA study</a> found that due to stress, the emotional health levels of students entering their freshman year of college were at the lowest they've been in 25 years. Transcendental Meditation -- a form of meditation that involves repeated a mantra for 15-20 minutes per day with the eyes closed -- has been shown to <a href="http://www.tm.org/blog/students/school-stress/">decrease psychological stress</a> in students, and many high schools are now getting on the TM bandwagon. Schools in San Francisco have experienced <a href="http://www.tm.org/blog/video/tm-in-san-francisco-schools/">significant benefits</a> from introducing a Quiet Time/Transcendental Meditation program.
Need a little boost to make it through your afternoon classes? A short power nap might be a <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/health/your_health&id=8908727">better answer </a>then reaching for a candy bar or that second coffee. Schools like <a href="http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2006/09/19/xtr_97182.shtml">Lakeside High School</a> in Georgia are helping students boost their energy and cognitive functioning by 30-minute study halls and optional nap times.
U.S. Congressman TIm Ryan has expressed his<a href="http://www.eomega.org/learning-paths/body-mind-amp-spirit-mindfulness-leadership-amp-work-education/bringing-mindfulness"> support </a>for including mindfulness programs in public school curriculums. Some schools are beginning to teach students mindfulness through the <a href="http://www.eomega.org/learning-paths/body-mind-amp-spirit-mindfulness-leadership-amp-work-education/bringing-mindfulness">Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program</a>, which focuses on emotional resilience programs that can help improve academic performance.
Last year, an old language lab at Belfast Area High School in Maine was converted into a <a href="http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/12/news/midcoast/stressed-out-belfast-area-high-school-students-teachers-to-have-a-wellness-room/">Wellness Room</a> for the entire school community -- teachers, students and administrators -- to enjoy. Local alternative health care practitioners offer short massage sessions, Reiki, acupuncture, chiropractic care and more to ease stress.
To recognize the de-stressing value of relaxation, social time and play, some schools are instituting <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/from-pets-to-recess-high-_n_2593553.html">20-minute breaks</a> (recess, anyone?) to give their students more down time between classes. At Chanhassen High School in Minnesota, students are able to enjoy these daily breaks, as well as homework-free nights scattered throughout the year to help take the pressure off of potentially overwhelming workloads.
Struggling with self-esteem and body image issues in high school can add significantly to academic pressures and social stresses. Some schools are providing students with coping resources through classes and conferences on healthy self-esteem and body image. At <a href="http://newprovidence.patch.com/articles/union-county-high-school-students-explore-self-esteem-body-image-issues-in-conference-at-liberty-hall-museum">Union County High School in New Jersey</a>, female students are invited to attend a day of confidence-boosting activities as a part of "Happy, Healthy & Whole: A Conference to Empower Young Women." And at British Columbia's <a href="http://www.theprogress.com/community/190877431.html">G.W. Graham Secondary School,</a> a student-led initiative is inviting young women to celebrate natural beauty by going without hair products and makeup for one week.