As the great Hannah Montana once said, “everybody makes mistakes, everybody had those days.” College students are prone to make mistakes, and Chapman students are no exception. Whether you are an incoming panther or a current student, let’s talk about all the things you wish you knew, with 20 mistakes every Chapman University freshman makes!
1. Believing your major is your perfect match and will lead you to your destined career path.
Some people change their major within the first week of school because they did not expect it to include so much math, or they are unsure if they want to pursue it in the future. The point of college is figure out what your specific interests are, so go to the Major in Minutes, talk to your Academic Advisor and take classes outside of your major if you are unsure about things. Don’t expect everything to be set in stone during your first year.
2. Actually wearing a lanyard.
You might as well have a stamp on your forehead that reads freshman. Of course nobody wants to forget their ID card, but there are other places you can store it. But if you must have the lanyard you bought at the Agora Gift Shop, just carry it in your hand, please.
3. Practically spending all of your Panther Bucks within the first month.
It’s all the excitement of having a credit card except you don’t have to worry about spending from your actual bank account! But if you get too carried away, the next thing you know the cashier at Qdoba or Jamba Juice will be telling you there is only $3 left on your account.
4. Taking the 11:59 deadline on Turnitin as a suggestion.
You’re at a party and halfway through that red solo cup (which as underclassmen would be filled with water) you realize you forgot to turn in that paper you’ve had two weeks to work on into Blackboard, and now your grade has dropped 20%. Deadlines are no joke, the minute your professor tells you the deadline for that paper is due at 11:59, they’re not joking. Though there may be some professors who are more accepting of you turning it in at 12:01, it’s not worth the risk.
5. Splurging in the Randall Dining Commons.
You are away from home and finally nobody is there to tell you if you have had one too many slices of pizza, or criticize you on your third bowl of pasta, but don’t get too crazy. There’s a reason the salad bar is placed in front of the dessert section, so add some green into your diet! And don’t eat anything you’re not used to eating, you don’t need another excuse to lay in your bed all day.
6. Forgetting your ID card in your room or losing it, again.
You left your room and realized you forgot your ID card. Not only can you get back in, but you also can’t go to the dining hall, go to the gym, buy something with your panther bucks, are you even a Chapman student? Nothing is worse than having to call Public Safety or awkwardly wait outside your room for your roommate or suitemates to come back and let you in. And let’s not forget if you misplace it, whoever finds it will post it on the Chapman Facebook page for all to see your picture, so hopefully it will be a good one.
7. Joining every club at the Student Involvement Fair.
As appealing as the Doti-Struppa Rock Wall or Anime Escape club may seem at the time, chances are you won’t show up to the meetings once you get further into the semester. If anything, join the clubs that actual pertain to your major. Just take the free candy and other handouts they are offering at their table and go back to class.
8. Registering for a class on Friday from 1-3:50.
The 3:50 basically rounds up to 4 p.m., and nothing is worse than sitting in class for three hours, while your friends are already starting their weekend. Even if the class only meets for one day a week, it’s not worth it, your mind has probably already checked out once your alarm went off that morning. Soon an 8 a.m. class will seem better.
9. “Nobody can hear me from outside the room.”
Everyone can hear you from outside your room. At least your surrounding neighbors in your dorm can, especially if you live in Morlan Hall. The walls are paper thin, and the vents can pick up almost any sound so before gossiping with your friends or doing the dirty, just know you will be heard, and you will be judged.
10. Night classes on Thursdays aren’t so bad.
For most Chapman students, the weekend starts on Thursday night. You will regret being in class when all your friends are getting ready to go to the Fraternity events that are almost always on Thursdays and have to live vicariously through them by watching their Snapchat stories.
11. Rushing for a fraternity or sorority is the only chance you have to make friends.
Chapman is known for their Greek life, but don’t think you have to rush in order to meet new people, especially if you are not interested in the first place. You go to a university with nearly 7 thousand students, you will meet and become friends with people one way or another (and possibly save more money, nothing good is free right?)
12. Assuming the Bhathal textbook store will always have your textbooks.
You most likely will have to purchase the required textbook. And if you can’t find it on Amazon get a move on placing an order from Bhathal because it will take time. Your professor will not be so thrilled extending the deadline for the online assignments on Connect or Wiley you needed the access code for.
13. There will always be parking spots.
Finding a parking spot is a time consuming hassle! If you live in the dorms you will consider taking an Uber or even walking to your destination because you do not want to risk losing the parking spot you managed to get on the first floor of the Jim Miller Structure or behind North Morlan. And for commuter students, better get to the Lastinger structure early, otherwise you will end up on the third floor on the Fowler School of Law parking structure, on the other side of campus.
14. The Julianne Argyros Fitness Center won’t be that crowded.
Unless you don’t mind going at 6 am when they open or right before midnight when they close then expect that the gym will always be packed with people. If you are an on-campus resident, you should go to the gym in the Henley basement. It will always be less filled.
15. Sharing every thought you have on your class Facebook page.
You have finally committed to Chapman and you join your graduating class’ page on Facebook. And for the first few weeks leading up to orientation it is perfectly acceptable to introduce yourselves to your fellow students if you want, but know after the first week of school, it’s time to stop. The page will then solely be used for getting a ride from someone or telling people about new job opportunities. They do not care if you are bored and are looking for someone to hang or want you to share your class schedules with everyone. Nobody really needs to know.
16. Going to the Randall Dining Commons too early/late.
Always check the times before leaving for the caf. If it says they are open for 10:30 for brunch on weekends they mean 10:30, and will not open the doors a minute sooner. Same goes for when they close for dinner at 8, they will lock the doors on you about ten minutes in advance, so plan accordingly.
17. Not submitting a picture for your ID card by the deadline.
This is your chance to submit the best photo of yourself that will be used for ID card. Do not miss the deadline to submit or they will take one during your moving day like it’s the school picture day in high school all over again and let’s face it you have better things to do. Also note that you keep the same ID card for the years following, so even if you lose it they will continue to use the same picture.
18. You didn’t check the professor’s ratings for your classes.
Maybe you didn’t want to take the class or GE in the first place, and now you’re stuck with a professor you despise when all you had to do was check their overall quality score. Better open a new tab when registering for classes next semester.
19. Leave your pet fishes at home.
Leave all your pets at home for that matter. Some of you can barely remember to feed yourselves, how are you going to remember to feed another living thing? Don’t torture your pet by leaving them alone when you are constantly in class or going out to eat. And when you leave for the holiday break you better take them with you, because no one will want to watch them. They have plans too.
20. Not calling your parents after orientation week who are about ready to send a search party for you.
You don’t have to ask for parent’s permission anymore if you can go out. You don’t even have them to wake you up and tell you to get to school, (since that’s your job now). But call, text, email, do something to let your parents know that you are alive. This isn’t just a big change for you, it’s effecting them too, so communicate with them to let them know how things are going.
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