Freshman year of college brings along a lot of changes whether you are ready for it or not. From leaving your high school besties behind, to packing up your life, and moving on to the next big adventure at your dream school, the transitions and changes coming your way are nothing you can fully prepare for. Moving away from home is hard as it is, and starting at a brand new school with thousands of strangers can be even more difficult at times. In order to help relieve some of the stress and anxiety you may be feeling, follow this guide below that highlights some common mistakes every freshman makes during his/her first year of college.
1.Packing up your whole life to bring to college
This is one of the biggest mistake all freshmen, especially girls, make. It’s hard enough to deal with change, so we naturally want every bit of our life back home to come with us to school. From packing up our closet, shoes, makeup, tioletries, dorm decorations and more, there is just no way you will be able to store it all in your room! Start out by bringing the essential things you need, and once you get settled in take inventory. If you have extra room in your closet, space in your drawers, or empty walls, bring more stuff later!
2.Wearing your lanyard ID card holder all around campus
Most universities will give you a lanyard to hold your ID card in and you will probably get excited to wear it all around campus, but don’t do it! Everyone will think you are that nerdy freshman who is paranoid will lose their ID card. Instead of a lanyard, invest in an iPhone case that has a credit card holder on the back. You can keep your ID card there instead!
3.Enrolling in a full schedule with 18 units
Don’t be an overachiever and plan a full schedule of classes for your very first semester of college. Transiting from high school to college is tough, especially getting use to how the classes work. Take a lighter class load so that you can get acclumulated to the school and figure out the structure of college classes. After the first semester, you will be more prepared to take on a bigger class load!
4.Avoiding office hours
Every professor will hold specific office hours where you are invited to meet with them, and go over any questions you have about the class. Professors dedicate this time out of their schedules to work with you, so make sure you take advantage of it! Your professors are there to help you and want you to come and visit them if you need help. Even if you just stop by and say hello to your professor, it will mean a lot to them. Don’t ever think you are too cool for office hours, as they will become your best friend when you need it!
5.Not being active / taking care of yourself
Avoid the dreaded freshman 15 by working out and taking care of yourself. Even if you spend 15 minutes at the gym everyday, that is better than nothing! Find yourself a gym buddy and make sure to keep each other accountable. Be sure to eat well-balanced meals throughout the day, as it is so easy to go for the comfort foods, like pizza, cereals, pastas, tacos, etc., and skip fruits and veggies. Your body needs balanced meals to stay healthy and have energy to function throughout the day!
6.Going to every single new student orientation event
Most freshmen think it is absolutely mandatory to attend every single event during new student orientation, but it really isn’t! You really should focus on going to the events that you want to go to, and the ones that seem the most fun/interesting. Don’t stress about attending every event. Sometimes you just want to spend an extra few hours with your family before they leave, and that is okay!
7.Asking everyone you met “What year are you?”
Don’t be that freshman that asks every person you meet what grade they are in. Most people find this questions super annoying, and you will probably get annoyed with yourself for asking it so often. Once you get in college, age doesn’t really matter. Some of your closest friends may be older or younger than you, and that is perfectly okay! As long as you find your group and you are happy, that’s all that really matters.
8.Buying ALL of the recommended class materials for your classes
This is another big mistake all freshmen make. Don’t be that students that buys all of the recommended class materials for each class. Chances are you won’t even use any of the recommended materials, and waste hundreds of dollars on things you really didn’t need. Be smart. Wait until the first day of class when your professor hands out the syllabus and specifies which book(s) you need. Then, head to the book store and get your supplies!
9.Wearing your High School jacket & t-shirts
It gets to a certain point where wearing your high school jackets and t-shirts with pride is no longer acceptable. Once you get to college, nobody really cares about what high school you went to. The only school shirts you should be wearing are the ones that represent your university. Keep the rest at home!
10.Not checking your school email
Teachers communicate with students via email, so it is necessary that you check your school email on a daily basis. Set up your school email on your phone so that you get notifications as soon as your professors send emails. You don’t want to miss an email that says class is cancelled, or an email that explains an extra credit opportunity!
11.Wearing all of your clothes to avoid laundry
Laundry is such a dreaded task that none of us want to do, yet have to. It’s so easy to fill your laundry basket up to the brim, hoping that someone will come by and do the laundry for you. But guess what? That won’t happen. To avoid running out of clothes, plan to do laundry once a week. It doesn’t take that long, and is really easy to do. It’s all a process of #adulting!
12.Locking yourself out of your dorm room
Don’t leave your dorm without your ID card/key to get back in! The worst feeling is getting locked out of your dorm, especially when you are in a rush. If you forget your ID card in the room, get the situation handled as soon as you can. Not only will you be locked out of the dorm, but you won’t be able to get food at the caf, print papers from the lib, etc. Your ID is your life!
13.Getting the highest meal point plan possible and not even using it
You will probably think that you will love the food served at the cafeteria and eat there for every meal, so you purchase the highest meal point plan that is offered. This is a huge mistake and you will end up wasting so much money. If you end up in this situation, you will most likely try to spend all of your money by buying food for classmates, but still have so much left over. Instead, start off with a small plan, and you can always add more money if you run out.
14.Spending all of your money at restaurants off campus
Whenever your parents and family members send you money, you will immediately want to spend it at your favorite restaurants and clothing stores, but don’t do it! Save your money. It’s okay to treat yourself every once in awhile, but try to save some of the money for emergencies. You never know when you will need to use it!
15.Feeling guilty for skipping class
It’s okay to skip class every once in awhile, just don’t make a habit out of it. Whether you are homesick and want to head home early for the weekend, spend the day with friends, or are just too tired to get out of bed, give yourself the day off. Make sure you email your professor and let him/her know you won’t be there, and then ask a friend what you missed in class. Even though you skipped class, you are still responsible for completing the homework!
16.Not studying or doing homework
You may think that you are too cool to study or do homework, but that is never the case. In college you actually have to spend time in the library studying, you actually have to do homework, and you actually have to participate in group projects. If you don’t put in the time or do the work, your grades will fall and you may be in danger of not passing the class. Don’t let yourself get in that situation!
17.Getting caught up in a new relationship and thinking ‘he’s the one’
It’s so easy for us girls to get caught up in a relationship and fall in love with every guy we date. Let’s be real, that is not the healthiest thing to do. Instead of getting wrapped up in the ‘happily ever after stage,’ dreaming of a wedding and life with your current boyfriend, enjoy life in the moment with him. Don’t get so focused on figuring your life out right away and planning your future together. The relationship might not work out and you don’t want to be devastated if it doesn’t. Also, do NOT ditch your friends for your new boy. Find a balance between school, friends, your boyfriend, and extracurricular activities. You need it!
18.Thinking you will be besties with your roomie
We all dream of having the best roommate in the world. The roommate that is your best friend, your go-to girl, and the person you can always count on. You may get lucky and find that you and your roomie will be best friends forever. Don’t get discouraged if this doesn’t happen to you though. It’s better to be civil with your roommate than force a friendship. You will find your bestie!
19.Falling in love with an upperclassman
It’s so easy to spot the incredibly good looking upperclassman around campus and fall in love with him, hoping that he will notice you in the hall or the cafeteria. You dream about him waiting for you to graduate from college and live a fairytale life together. But hey, get back to reality. It’s always fun to crush on the older guys, but don’t get too caught up in you fairytale that you hate any girl that he ever talks to or dates. You’ll find your Prince Charming out there!
20.Taking freshman year too seriously and not enjoying life in the moment
If you catch yourself stressing out every day over freshman year and not enjoying your first year, take a step back and reevaluate. As difficult as the transition from this year may be, it is so not worth stressing out over. Make friends with everyone, take the classes you want to take, enroll in an internship, go to that party, date the cute boy, and make memories with your friends that will last a lifetime! These are the best four years of your life, and it will be over before you know it!
What tips do you have for incoming freshmen? Let us know in the comments below!