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The class divisions in high school can be stark and unforgiving, and you might think that college will be more of the same. This really isn’t the case. Here are a few myths about college upperclassmen to break down for you.

I won’t see any upperclassmen in my courses.

While there are a few exceptions to this rule (there are occasionally classes that students are required to take their freshman year), the truth is that you are going to find a variety of class levels represented in your courses. Since you’re all there to learn the same new material, you don’t have to be intimidated.

Upperclassmen won’t want to talk to me as a freshman, especially seniors.

One fun thing about college is that you can’t easily tell what class people are in, especially after everyone has been there a few months. Another fun thing is that, generally speaking, people won’t care. One of my closest friends from college was a fifth-year senior during my freshman year. Unlike in high school, where that age gap can also be a huge maturity gap, age gaps in college don’t separate people because you start to think of everyone as “your age”. If you have similar interests and take classes together, there is nothing stopping you and upperclassmen from being friends.

Upperclassmen are all-knowing.

Every student has their strengths and weaknesses, and upperclassmen are no different. While they might have suggestions for which classes and professors to take, they’re all still learning new things too. They won’t have every correct answer, and neither will you.

Upperclassmen in student organizations will try and haze me.

Almost every state in the USA has laws against hazing now, so you shouldn’t worry. Most upperclassmen in student orgs are going to be helpful because you are part of the group. Sometimes that just means asking you how your semester is going and listening to the answer, but it can also mean giving you rides to events (or even the store), offering to read over application materials, and just being supportive in general.

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