Don't Make These Mistakes Your First Year of College
You have spent your entire high school career getting ready for this moment: College! Your first year away at college can be a crazy experience.
10:27 28 August 2019
Even if you are already rooming with your bestie, registered for every class you wanted, and got the best great laptop deals, you still need to avoid these classic mistakes!
- Skipping class.This might seem kinda obvi, but believe it or not, college freshmen are notorious for skipping class. Don’t do it! Hanging with your friends and sleeping in can wait till summer semester.
- Not studying. College is a way different ballgame than high school. You might have fewer classes but you have to study twice as hard. And when the professor suggests that you study your notes…study your notes!
- Poor planning. For the first time in your life you don’t have to plan your life around your family. You are the master of your own destiny. But that means you are prone to lots of crazy scheduling mistakes. Be sure that you plan out your assignments, classes, social life, and work carefully. Give yourself at least an extra week for big exams and papers. Procrastination can be your doom.
- Not talking to the prof. Your professor is there to help you, believe it or not. So talk to her. Ask questions. Write down their notes. Visit during office hours. Build a rapport with your professor. Then they are more likely to be there when you struggle.
- Going it Alone. You are not invincible. You need a tribe in college to support you. This can be a combo of your best friends, your significant other, a college advisor, or a favorite professor. Even your parents can be part of your tribe.
- Distraction. Don’t fall for distractions like your smartphone notifications, Netflix, or a slacking friend. It’s college. You are there to study and better your life. You can’t do that if you are posting photos all day to social media.
- Forgetting to budget. Unless your mom and dad promised to pay for every single thing in your life, you will need to learn how to budget. Easy way to do this? Never spend more than what you have coming in. Do you have a part time job? Then budget your paycheck carefully. Housing, food, and medical always go first. Then look at school expenses like laptops for students. If you can’t afford to socialize with your friends, be honest about it and find free ways to hang out. Colleges are great cultural institutions. Chances are that you will have dozens of free budget-friendly events to attend every week.
- Forgetting financial aid deadlines. If you are on scholarship or financial aid, you need to fill out paperwork in time for deadlines to stay in college. Set up your alerts and calendar with all paperwork deadlines. Fill them out a week or more ahead of time to allow for problems. Go to your academic advising office weekly for any updates to paperwork, to find new scholarships, and to ask questions.
- Not sleeping. Yeah, it’s college, and who needs to sleep when you can study and party 24/7? But your body will crash and burn, terribly, when you don’t sleep. It doesn’t matter if you need to study for that exam. You can’t function if you don’t sleep. Instead plot out your calendar carefully to avoid crashing.
- Not planning for after college. What’s your major? Undecided? You are going to enter a competitive workforce. Take advantage of opportunities, networking, and internships now. Internships are great ways to land a job after graduation. Meet with your advisor and professors and ask what you can do to prepare yourself for the workforce.
Avoid these mistakes and enjoy your time in college! It’s a journey you will never forget!