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FIGHT FOR FIRST YEAR IN COLLEGE »»»»» by Steve Gladis, PhD
Getting Started: Myth vs. Reality
The world is full of myths-common ideas that exist but are not true. Unfortunately, often such myths rule what we do and dominate our behavior. Myths can cause disorganized thinking and set up a system of behavior that is based on misconceptions and doomed to failure.
Let me give you an example of how this works. Consider the teenage girl with poor self-esteem who has accepted the myth that college is just for "smart kids". For whatever reasons, she is convinced that she is not smart. Over time, these attitudes will begin to pervade her thought process, and she will convince herself of the hopelessness of her situation. Eventually, she will begin to act in an inferior way, and select unchallenging courses, and perform poorly in high school. In essence, she will act out the myth-and fail to go to college.
Such destructive myths come from various sources. Some originate with kids themselves, either as defense mechanisms to cover for past or future failures or as ego boosters for successful kids who like the idea of making college sound difficult. In short, we often don't know the specific sources of myths or the motivation behind them.
This book does not pretend to be anything more than a guide designed to steer students away from the Myths and toward the Realities of how to survive the first year of college.
Used with permission. This section was last updated: September 08, 2008