It’s finally your freshman year of college, and you can’t wait to take part in the college experience. You should definitely be excited because college is full of fun adventures. As such, your college career will be very different when compared to your high school years.
For starters, you’ll have more freedom (woohoo!), but with that comes new responsibilities. With so many big changes, it’s understandable that you might back some mistakes. Luckily, relying on those who came before you can help you avoid some of them.
Here are five common freshman year mistakes and how you can avoid them from someone that’s already done it.
Not using available resources
Resources are everything. Tuition is expensive, but it comes with access to a whole lot of resources on your college campus. Since you’re already paying for them, why not take advantage of them?
Whether it’s asking for resume advice at the career center or using the free classes at the gym to stay healthy — look around and see what’s available to you. Even something as simple as a professor’s office hours can make or break your college career.
Not asking for help
Not asking for help is another mistake that many students are guilty of (including me). Students often find themselves struggling with classes, and instead of asking for help, they try to figure it out on their own.
Without any help, their grades start to slip, and by then it feels too late. Before getting to this point, the student should express their troubles to their professor.
Transitioning from high school to college can be hard, and the more help you have, the better. A great way to prevent this from happening to you is by using your resources and asking for help. Everyone that works on your college campus is there to help you succeed. Don’t hesitate to ask your professors, academic advisor, and friends for help.
Partying too hard
Often times we get carried away and party too hard while in our first year of college. As easy as it might be to get carried away having fun, partying too hard can harm your academics and finances.
Financially, you might spend too much on food, drinks, and transportation when you go out all the time. College is already expensive enough, excessively spending money makes it even worse.
Frequently partying implies that you’ll be spending less time studying and getting school work done. Unfortunately, your grades soon might start to show signs of poor performance.
An excellent way to avoid a negative impact on your grades is by remembering why you’re in college in the first place. Make sure there is a good balance between the time you spend on your work and the time you spend having fun.
Not finding the right school/life balance
Not properly balancing school, work, and social life can negatively impact your college experience.
While your academics should always come first, it’s important to make time for other important things in your life as well. If you’re a student that has to work as well, that adds an extra stressor to finding this balance.
I suggest you try to do things non-school related when you have some free time, maybe during the weekend. Get a couple of work hours in and go out, but still get your assignments done on time. A little bit of balance will take you a long way.
Although balancing all these components may not be the easiest task, it’s still possible. Learning how to do so will help you have the smoothest transition from high school to college.
Not keeping track of due dates
I have to admit, I struggled with this one myself. In high school, things were easy to keep track of because you always had the same schedule. But college is different.
Your first class could start at 1 pm, and tomorrow, your first class could start as early as 8 am. With an ever-changing schedule, it can be easy to lose track. That’s why it’s important to have a method for managing your schedule.
Get a planner, write down your class dates and times, and include your assignments. Be sure to always reference your planner, so you don’t miss anything. If you prefer digital technology, you can use the built-in calendar on your phone.
Having your schedule easily accessible helps you avoid missing any crucial classes or due dates.
Allowing unnecessary drama into your life
Starting college with the idea that everyone is your friend is a big mistake. Some friendships will help you grow, while others add unnecessary drama to your life. If you think some of your friendships are getting in the way of you successfully completing your college career, then maybe that friendship isn’t worth your attention.
The same goes for your roommate(s). Although it would be nice to become best friends with your roommate, things might not work out that way, and that’s okay.
You and your roommate might have different interests, and if that’s the case, giving each other space will be the best course of option. As long as you both respect each other, you can co-exist and not be best friends.
For nearly everyone, college is a time of significant change. If you step into it knowing how to avoid the pitfalls, it can make it so much easier in the long run.