9 Common College Myths, Debunked

1. MYTH: Sororities are not allowed to throw parties because a lot of women living together is considered a brothel

REALITY: This word-of-mouth myth is so far off. The origins of the "brothel" rumor began prior to the 1960s, when there was a surge in coeducation. People speculate that the myth is derived from "blue laws," which were enacted to prevent large numbers of people, both men and women, who were unmarried or unrelated from living together. The blue laws were put in place to protect the property values of residential neighborhoods from plummeting, due to excessive student partying. So why can't sororities throw keggers? The National Panhellenic Conference won't let sororities serve alcohol due to safety concerns and underage drinking laws.

2. MYTH: Depression is the biggest mental-health issue on campus

REALITY: In 2014, 14.3 percent of college students were diagnosed or treated by a professional for anxiety. Depression, on the other hand, was only diagnosed or treated among 12 percent of the same population. This is the first time anxiety has superseded depression on campus, despite the connection of the two disorders. The number of students who reported both depression and anxiety is 8.6 percent. Dr. Marie Albano, director of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders, told the Huffington Post that she is “not surprised” at the change, since anxiety is the number one mental health disorder for both adults and children.

3. MYTH: A liberal arts degree will leave you working in a coffee shop

REALITY: Your parents may have gasped after you declared art history as your major, but the truth of the matter is that people with liberal arts degrees actually do get jobs upon graduation. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce crunched employment statistics and the results were surprising: English and History majors reported relatively low unemployment rates after graduating at 9.8 percent and 9.5 percent, compared to higher unemployment rates of Economics (10.4 percent), Political Science (11.1 percent), and Architecture (12.8 percent) majors. Health is an area of study which has the lowest unemployment rate at 2 percent.

4. MYTH: Cornell University has the most suicides in the country


REALITY: It's true, Cornell University was dubbed a "suicide school" a few years back. However, the rate of suicide at Cornell is no higher than any other university. On average, there are 7.5 suicides per 100,000 students at colleges and universities, a ratio that Cornell does not deviate from. The university's administrators attribute the misconception to overblown publicity. "When a death occurs at Cornell in one of our gorges, it's a very public experience," said Tim Marchell, the Director of Mental Health Initiatives, in a webcast. Since the six suicides of 2010, Cornell has taken numerous precautionary measures, including implementing nets below the gorges.

Oh and by the way, the rumor about getting straight A's if your roommate dies isn't true -- no schools do that.

5. MYTH: The "Freshman 15"

REALITY: Although students fear they will gain 15 pounds during their freshman year from binge eating and drinking, researchers have found that most freshman only gain about three pounds. Out of the freshman populace, 24 percent actually lose weight compared to the 10 percent that gain 15 pounds or more. A 2014 study showed that college students' BMIs do not change from the time they enter college to the time they graduate.

6. MYTH: The "Morning After Pill" will ruin your future chances of getting pregnant

"Plan B", One Step, Emergency Contraceptive, Levonorgestrel 12/2014, by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube
"Plan B", One Step, Emergency Contraceptive, Levonorgestrel 12/2014, by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube

REALITY: The "Morning After Pill" is neither dangerous to fertility, nor is it a replacement for birth control. The pill prevents immediate fertilization by supplying a higher dose of hormones but it will not prevent future pregnancy whatsoever, says Planned Parenthood. However, if Plan B has become your new Plan A you might want to reconsider…

7. MYTH: Most college students get their degree in four years

REALITY: While a bachelor's degree is usually assumed to be a four-year ordeal, the U.S. Department of Education has found that less than 40 percent of undergraduates complete their studies within that time frame. At Michigan State University and Auburn University, the ratio of students who graduate in four years are as low as 48 percent and 36 percent, respectively. The National Student Clearinghouse reports that 56 percent of students earn a degree within six years. Now that's the majority.

8. MYTH: ADHD medications are an easy way to boost your GPA

REALITY: Abusing ADHD medications, like Adderall and Ritalin, has hit a new high for college students. In the last year, 7.8 percent of students reported being diagnosed or treated by a professional for ADHD. However, researchers estimate that almost 30 percent of students use the stimulants non-medically. It is rumored that the medication will give its user an improvement in productivity. But the effects of the chemicals from ADHD medications are not the same for students without the diagnosis. ADHD medication abusers risk an increase in blood pressure, depressed feelings, difficulties in sleep, loss of appetite and change in sex drive.

9. MYTH: University of Colorado-Boulder closes campus on 4/20 in honor of marijuana

Huffington Post

REALITY: From 2012 to 2014, CU-Boulder closed its campus to visitors on April 20. The purpose of the shut down was to prevent "4/20" marijuana celebrations on the lawns, which in the past had accumulated up to 10,000 smokers. Consequently, closing campus was not a measure taken to support the marijuana culture, but rather to deter students. The university has also enlisted additional law enforcement and applied foul-smelling fertilizer to the lawn to encourage students to "celebrate" elsewhere. This year CU-Boulder opened its campus to the public after canning its cannabis problem.