Myth vs. Reality: Chapman Edition

Chapman officials are eager to debunk myths about the university. Worried about a lack of diversity? We have a Cross Cultural Center! Think the school is full of rich white kids? Eighty-six percent of the student body receives financial aid! Think the school is silo-ed off and disconnected from the surrounding community? We have local partnerships with the Paulo Freire Democratic Project and Centro Comunitario de Educación!

Here are some beliefs many of us come to college with that are not on the website.

Myth: College is when we go to football games and tailgate parties

Ahhh, college sports. The tailgates before every game, the packed stadium of screaming fans bringing everyone together. The smell of teen spirit!

Reality – PSYCH! Talk to the next 50 people you see and ask them if they have ever set foot in the bleachers at Wilson Field. All 50 will probably deny it. The stands for football games are rarely full despite tickets being free to Chapman students. The basketball team draws immense crowds of 20…parents. As for the tailgates, good luck trying to fire up the grill in the underground parking structure.

Chapman could take notes from the Penn State Nittany Lions on how to host a football game. Photo by Alex Korolkoff on Unsplash

Myth: I will make a lifelong friend in my roommate

We have all seen those corny Netflix movies that idolize the relationships we form with our roommates. You’ll be like two peas in a pod, fighting the daily challenges of cranky professors and demanding parents. You and your roommate will end up like Alex and Sammy from “Blue Mountain State.”

Reality – More often than not, you two – or three – will become acquaintances and not exchange much more than a “hey, how’s it going,” as you pass from class to class. Grievances will pile up as you are both under stress and unaccustomed to living with people who think their dirty cereal bowls are precious keepsakes to be kept in the public space. It’s hard to bond with someone blaring Katy Perry’s “Firework” at 7 a.m.

This is the kind of relationship we all strive to have with our roommates, but that’s not always the case. Photo by @thoughtcatalog on Unsplash

Myth: College will expose us to people of different races, backgrounds and beliefs

You’ll meet people from all over the world and learn about their cultures! Understanding the struggles and  experiences of people different from you will make you a better, “woke” person!

Reality – Yes, the Asians represent at Chapman, but most students here are white. “The majority of the student population is still white, but given the location Chapman is in, that’s not really odd,” Chapman President Daniele Struppa said in an article published by Prowl on February 26, 2019, “My goal is to bring our university anywhere between 20-30 percent Latino. The African American population on the other hand, is about 1 percent in Orange County, so I don’t expect to see the numbers to grow much more.”

The diversity Chapman may portray on their school website. Photo by Anete Lusina on Unsplash

Myth: Friday Night Fun

Like in the movies, once anyone gets to college they’re going to party until the sun rises just like in Animal House. Parties are open, easy to access and low risk.

Reality – That is, if you are a girl or in a frat. Good luck to any other male at Chapman who is not in Greek life that wants to party. You’ll find them staying in the dorms with their friends, playing drinking games, video games, and wondering what they are missing.

This is basically what you’ll find most people doing on the weekends. Photo by Mark Schafer on Unsplash

Myth: Be Anything Imaginable

The course catalog has a wide variety of classes that are all easy access. Our tour guides love to boast about how easy it is to get classes. They all had a great time taking Forensics 101, one of the most sought-after courses in the university.

Reality – Freshman year is a wake-up call. Students may get stuck with a late registration appointment while upperclassmen get first pickings. Once your registration appointment approaches all of the courses you added to the shopping cart will have the dreaded blue square, signifying the class is closed. I have heard horror stories of where students need to knock out all of their GE’s because all of their major requirements were closed. Lastly, in terms of switching majors it can be easy especially if it is within colleges, but if you want to get into Dodge then good luck. The minimum GPA Dodge requires a major transfer student to have is a 3.5, so you better hit the books.

The dreaded blue square we are all too familiar with come class registration time. Photo by Jennifer Sauceda

Myth: World Class Professors

When you get to college, you will find a mentor who cares about your learning and have quality one-on-one time where you can ask questions, get instruction and have engaging discussions.

Reality – All this talk about having individualized educators is not necessarily true. Some professors unexpectedly cancel their classes, sometimes to make time around their own schedule. More often than not office hours will interfere with your busy class schedule, and even when you find the time, it is just 10 minutes of repeating what was said in class. Some professors are more available than others, so you may find yourself dealing with a professor who is either hard to reach or just not present on campus very often.

The small group education we all seek. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash