BUSTING 10 MYTHS ABOUT NMU
Going into freshman year at NMU, I was nervous about many things that turned out to be not at all what I had expected. These are some common myths about the NMU college experience.
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1. Moving away from home is scary.
My home is about 12 hours away from NMU's campus, so I was pretty nervous about being so far away from my family and friends. I also was really excited about experiencing something new on my own. Despite my uneasiness about being so far away from my support system, I rarely called home those first few months of freshman year. I quickly became immersed in this new environment full of supporting friends, new and exciting adventures, and engaging courses. Sure, I did miss home from time to time, but I can honestly say that it's hard to take yourself out of the moment when thrown into a completely new and exciting environment.
2. It snows too much.
As someone who is not the biggest fan of the cold, I was worried about NMU having too much snow for my liking. Driving in the snow and having to shovel my car out of the parking lot was not something I had -or have- any interest in doing. However, now that I've been up in Marquette for three winters, it's clear that each winter is entirely unique.
My first winter here consisted of some snow from time to time, but I was surprised by the warmer temperature. This was the perfect winter for skiing and sledding! The parking and driving situation wasn't an issue either; the streets and parking lots would be plowed before the end of the day. The one time I did have to shovel snow from behind my car, people pulled up to help me!
My second winter was marked by many super cold sunny days with little snow. This was the year that lower harbor froze like glass and the entire Marquette community was out skating on Lake Superior.
My third winter is marked by a lot of snow and sun. In conclusion, the snowfall really depends on the year. Either way, there are a ton of fun winter-filled activities to partake in.
3. The dining hall food is bad.
Okay, one thing to understand coming into college is the time of your family's cooking is no more. I grew up eating my parent's cooking, full of all my favorite things, so I subconsciously entered freshman year expecting the same result. Of course, I was a little disappointed to find that the meals tailored to my preferences were absent. However, I quickly learned that I never went away hungry; there was always something to eat in the dining hall. As someone who's particular about food preferences, I knew when my favorite dining hall meals were being served and how to adjust aspects of the meals that didn't fit my preferences. With so many options, I was always trying new meals, and that experience really helped me learn what kinds of food I liked. On a side note, I literally have had dreams about the cookies they make. Some of my favorite memories are eating at the dining hall with a group of friends.
4. The location is far.
Most NMU students have about a 6-hour car drive to get back home. As someone who has driven this countless times, I can tell you it is not as far as you think it is. Here is a list of cities and the distance to NMU:
Green Bay, WI: 3 hr 12 min
Duluth, MN: 4 hr 45 min
Milwaukee, WI: 4 hr 50 min
Traverse City, MI: 4 hr 59 min
Madison WI: 5 hr 20 min
Eau Claire, WI: 5 hr 22 min
Chicago, IL: 6 hr 12 min
Grand Rapids, MI: 6 hr 24 min
Minneapolis, MN: 6 hr 37 min
St. Cloud, MN: 6 hr 58 min
Detroit, MI: 6 hr 58 min
Rochester, MN: 7 hr 9 min
5. You have to be outdoorsy.
NMU's location tends to attract many people who enjoy outdoor activities. However, you do not need to be the biggest nature enthusiast to enjoy living here. Many people enjoy living in Marquette who prefer city activities and staying in. No matter your preferences, you will find people with similar interests. There are a ton of cool activities in Marquette that do not involve the outdoors. Click here for a video of some ideas.
6. Professors aren't there to help you.
I'm not sure why but I recall so many of my high school teachers insinuating that college professors don't put up with any excuses and don't care about outside factors that may be affecting your work. This is just flat-out wrong. ALL of the professors I have had at NMU wanted to know the students individually and work with them to achieve their best results. I have had wonderful experiences with NMU's professors and have been given opportunities that wouldn't be possible without the faculty's care and dedication to knowing and helping each student achieve their goals.
7. You can't work and go to school at the same time.
I really feel this depends on the person. I work part-time while attending school, and it really is about time management and organization. As long as you have a schedule that includes all the time needed for school, work, social needs, mental health, etc., it is just a matter of sticking to it. Last year, I worked two part-time jobs while attending school, which proved to be too much work, so I balanced it by focusing on just one job and school. It really does depend on the person and what they are comfortable with. Remember, you can always take one less thing off your plate if it does prove to be too much.
8. Attendance isn't mandatory.
Most classes have attendance as part of your final grade, so don't fall into the trap of believing attendance doesn't matter. Missing one class because "you don't feel like it" makes it so much easier to continue missing classes until it becomes a more significant problem.
9. It's hard to find friends.
Going into freshman year, I was apprehensive about this one. It was easy to meet people in classes you had every day in high school, but in college, you only have some classes twice a week. However, on the first day, I met a group of friends and countless other really cool people who had similar interests as me! I am currently roommates with a friend I met in the first week! If you're looking for new friends I recommend joining clubs or sports that you are interested in, you will meet so many new people, and chances are you will become friends with at least a few of them!
10. It's scary to go in blind finding a roommate.
I went in blind on my freshman and sophomore roommate situation, and it was really nerve-racking before meeting them. There are so many roommate horror stories it's hard not to buy into the mentality. However, both experiences were completely different from what I expected. My freshman roommate was incredibly sweet, and although we did not have a close friendship or the same group of friends, I always felt supported by her. My sophomore year, I went in blind again; I lucked out completely, we ended up clicking, and we are still roommates and close friends to this day. I'm so happy for both roommate experiences and looking back, I'm glad I went in blind.