Five Mistakes To Avoid Your First Year Of College

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If you’re new to college, you’re likely overwhelmed with meeting new people, parties, flexible class schedules and the overall freedom of being on your own. However, with great power comes great responsibility – and it’s important that you remember that life is all about balance. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of five mistakes that you definitely don’t want to make during your first year of freedom.


Skipping class. Even if your professor skips “role call”, blowing off a class to nurse a hangover or doing homework for another course is not in your best interest. It’s a dangerous habit, so make sure that it’s a rarity. You never know when you’ll miss a really important piece of information. Plus, who wants to be the kid who didn’t show up to class all semester and has to crawl into a professor’s office with questions? (Spoiler alert: No one wants to be that person. It feels awful.)


Eating whatever you want. Dining halls these days have so many delicious options for students that it’s easy to go into sensory overload just walking through the aisles. From candy and snack dispensers to a dinner spread that would make Henry VIII jealous, options abound. But, be careful – the Freshman 15 isn’t just a myth. What’s more, dining hall purchases add up and if you’re not careful, you can end up way over budget just a couple of months into the new school year.


Procrastinating. Sure, you have a month to worry about writing that paper and you don’t really need to start studying for that test until 48 hours prior to it, right? Wrong. We get it – there are a million things more fun to do any given day or night of the week than study, but procrastinating just leads to unnecessary stress. Plus, never put off until tomorrow what you can do today – who knows what you’ll have going on in the days leading up to a due date. Better to get some of the work out of the way now.


Saying “yes” to everything. One of the coolest things about going away to school is that there are tons of interesting activities to do and groups to join. Keep in mind that there are only so many hours in the day and it’s impossible to join every group that piques your interest. Be discerning in what you choose to get involved with – don’t forget, you have four years to try out different activities and find your passion.


Immediately starting on coursework for a major. It’s possible that you’ve known since you were eight years old that you’re destined to be a newspaper reporter – so loading up on those journalism requirements from the get-go seems like an awesome idea. But, slow down, partner. No matter how certain you are that you’re going to graduate with the same major you decided you wanted when you first enrolled, it’s entirely possible that your tastes will change as you grow and mature, and try different electives. The best course strategy is to get required classes out of the way for your first year or two – you’ll have a better idea of what you want to do a few semesters in and can then really get going on some classes related to your career path.