You’ve entered the home stretch of your high school experience, and in just a few months will be entering college as a brand new freshman. A whole new life awaits you!
If you look back at your time in high school, you might realize that hindsight is truly illuminating. Don’t you wish someone had warned you of a few potential missteps, way back in freshman year? Well, there’s nothing we can do about that now, but we can definitely offer you the benefit of experience with regard to college planning. Avoid these ten common mistakes as you head into your freshman year.
- Failing to study effectively. Avoid cramming the night before exams. Instead, complete reading assignments and study a bit each day throughout the semester. You will find that exam time goes much more easily for you this way.
- Never making it personal. Your professors want you to succeed, and many will go out of their way to help you. But you’re more likely to receive a warm response to a request for help if you’ve already forged a relationship. So stop by your instructors’ offices and introduce yourself.
- Skipping class. It’s tempting to skip class once in a while, but keep in mind that you’re paying for each one of those sessions. Plus, it’s a lot easier to fall behind in college, and a bit more difficult to catch up.
- Digital distraction. Turn off your phone in class, and if you use a laptop, don’t open social media or other websites in your browser. Stay focused on instructional time so that you don’t miss anything important.
- Financial blunders. Avoid those tempting credit card offers (the free stuff isn’t worth it) and learn to follow a budget. The last thing you need is additional debt.
- Laundry mishaps. Learn to use your campus laundry facility before all of your clothes are dirty, and don’t forget to bring plenty of quarters if needed.
- Stay on top of deadlines. Each class will impose its own deadlines for exams, assignments, and papers. But on top of that, you will be responsible for financial aid, scholarship, and other due dates. You won’t have anyone to remind you anymore, so record each new deadline as soon as it is communicated to you.
- Housing debacles. Sit down for an honest conversation with your new roommate(s) during the first week of class, and agree to some ground rules for cohabitation.
- Foodie faux-pas. Familiarize yourself with campus eateries right away, and keep a copy of dining schedules. Each cafeteria might operate on its own schedule, and you’d hate to miss months of Taco Night before finally learning about it!
- Not asking for help. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it, even in college. Avoid taking on too much responsibility, and don’t be afraid to reach out to a counselor, professor, friend, or your parents when you feel overwhelmed.