One day you are walking down your high school stadium or stage wearing your cap and gown, and before you know it, it’s move in day. Where did the time go? You might’ve been counting down the days, just waiting to get that feel of independence, or, you were dreading leaving home and your comfort zone. Whatever your feelings about moving away for college were, we all have one thing in common…. we all enter our college or university with no idea what it will hold for us, no matter how prepared we feel, or how much information we think we know.
So, freshman, here are your top ten mistakes we see each other make!
Independence, no curfew? Say no more! We feel the freedom (as well as extreme sadness) when we say our goodbyes to our families on move in day. Although it’s common, doesn’t mean it is safe. Thirsty Thursday sounds extremely fun, especially when you have a load of snapchats to look back at the next day, but waking up late for your exam on Friday, hungover, doesn’t. Health wise, those beers help you gain those Freshman 15! Freshman year can be something difficult to transition to, and many figured out that college is just not for them. Which is why many students turned to drinking as a way to cope with their problems.
Hiding in your Dorm
Sure, you’d love to stay in your dorm that you spent hours decorating. You can eat, sleep, shower, all in one room. Why would you want to leave? They do say college is the best couple of years of your life, but you have to make that happen on your own. College has hundreds of activities and clubs that fit your needs or interests, why not join them? Not only do you get free food and shirts (which is always a plus!), but you start making connections. These clubs sometimes are known and used across the nation, and can help you build your own resume. Some of your best experiences and opportunities will come from being involved around campus. Don’t see any clubs that suit your fit? Use your voice! See what it takes and what you have to do to make your own organization.
Not going to class
That 9a.m 3-hour lecture on a Monday morning automatically does not sound appealing, at all. “The professor doesn’t even take attendance”. Of course, no student can admit that they NEVER skipped class. But the less frequent we do it, the less chances we have of building a habit of missing class. If you want to put it in a different perspective, you or your parents are paying for that class. This is no longer high school, professors will not ask you why you haven’t attended class, especially if it’s a room filled with 100+ students. Your grades reflect how hard you work. So, go to class, study, join group study sessions, and do not be afraid to ask for help!
We love the feeling of swiping that card and realizing the amazing deals we got, or inserting the chip after buying groceries for your room and feeling like you’re totally an adult now. In college, we never know when a $300 book will be needed, or in fact, any emergency at all. You always want to have enough money in your account for any situation and problem that may pop up. Remember, you’re considered an adult now, your parents may help you but they expect you to be able to handle situations, even if they are financial. Don’t buy that $60 college hoodie you want right now but don’t need, and don’t pay $15 to go into the frat everyone’s been talking about.
Not becoming organized
As a freshman, we enter our first week of college thinking we have read about everything we need to know on the internet. We feel prepared, motivated, and are ready to take on this next step in our lives. A planner is a must need, it won’t only help you stay organized, but it will help you manage your time. Keep your class work in separate binders and notebooks, or you’ll be looking for your Chemistry study guide in your Music History binder. Mostly, keeping your room clean makes you feel like you somewhat have your life together, and studying and trying to do homework in a messy room feels impossible. Color coding, and post-it notes will become your best friends.
Eating too much pizza
Whether its pizza at 2am, because you’re pulling an all-nighter studying, or free pizza from organizations so you will come out and see what they’re about, too much pizza is no good! When we enter college, we are excited about eating whatever we want, whenever we want. But a month in of eating ramen noodles, mac n cheese, and grease dripping food, we will begin to miss home cooked meals. The “Freshman 15” is no lie, but that doesn’t mean you have to gain it! Focus on at least eating one healthy meal a day, take a trip to the gym when you have time, join those fitness classes and bring a friend. Exercise doesn’t only help you stay fit, but it helps relieve some major college stress.
Not calling your parents
Many of us get too engaged in the whole college thing that we forget to communicate with our parents. After all, they are helping us pay for our college education, and have supported us through every step of the way. They don’t expect you to call them after every meal, once you wake up or after your class. Just calling them once a day and telling them how your day went, means more to them than you know. You especially don’t want them to think you are forgetting about them, because they miss you like crazy. Most importantly, don’t forget to tell them “Thank You”! They are working extra hours, to pay for college, and spent countless of days beforehand taking you to college visits, and orientations.
Expecting your high school friendships to stay the same
We’re always told “after you graduate you will never talk to half of these people ever again”, and you will actually find out that this is true. You could talk to someone everyday your senior year, and then not talk ever again after you get that diploma in your hand. In reality, we all go separate ways, whether it is out of state, or an hour away from home, we just all start a new life. We don’t do this on purpose, it’s just that the next step into our future just started and we get caught up in life. Don’t lay in your bed on a Thursday night getting upset about why your friend hasn’t texted you in days, but look back at how busy your week has been, and remember that you’re not the only one going through the college craziness.
Jumping into a relationship
Our college experiences are some of the best, but wouldn’t they be better if we have a significant other to share those experiences with? Maybe you’re new to the whole relationship thing, or maybe you just broke up with your significant other because the whole going to college wasn’t going to work, so what now? Relationships are amazing, so many good things come out of them, and we see each other being the happiest we’ve ever been. But just how we can be so happy, we can be left with sadness, and heartbreak. Which can later lead to it effecting your grades, your health, and your well-being overall. If you plan on getting in a relationship, make sure they’re good to you and has the same morals as you. College is the number one place where people like taking advantage of others. Be safe, and always remember that if you were okay before a relationship, you will be fine without one.
Choosing your major based on pay and not passion
The famous quote “If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life”, is told by us by parents, family friends, and especially our grandparents. It might’ve been your senior year, or a month ago, that you decided your major, but why did you pick what you picked? Did you want to become it ever since you were little, are you obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy and that influenced your pick? Whatever it was, good for you! Picking something that you want to do for the rest of your life is a huge step into becoming an adult. Sure, money is a college student’s favorite word, especially when you see how much that career makes a year. Happiness will always stomp money, so don’t base your career on how much you’d be making because a few years from now you’ll be regretting waking up at 6a.m. for a job you aren’t happy doing!
Here’s to you freshman, make this the best year ever. Stay healthy, make smart choices, and become the person you’ve always wanted to be!
If you are or know anybody with an addiction;
If you need help immediately for alcohol or drug addiction and/or mental illness, please call the nationwide addiction and mental health helpline at 1-800-821-HELP
24 hours a day 7 days a week. Recovery is possible.