You are about to start at Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) and you’re excited. You’re saying goodbye to high school and its embarrassing moments…or years. If you so desire, you can reinvent yourself for the next four (or six) years as you meet your peers, find your calling and truly start to find yourself. That said, there are several mistakes every college newbie is bound to make, particularly while attending Lewis-Clark State College.
1. Wanting bargains at the campus bookstore
There’s no reason to spend your money on books from the campus bookstore. You can find what you need at the library, pick them up at the thrift store or order all of your books online (you can even rent them through Amazon). I recommend ordering them online for the first semester to simplify things.
2. Trusting the bookstore’s buy back program
This is a huge rip-off at probably all colleges everywhere. Both schools I attended offered very little compensation for books you’ve bought and used. You’re better off selling your books via Facebook to students who will need them for the next semester.
3. Looking to live off campus
Lewis-Clark State College is unlike most colleges in that it doesn’t require first-year students to live on campus. Yes, dorm-living is expensive and there are quiet hours. That said, it’s important to experience living in the dorms at least once to experience college fully. It’s an amazing way to find out about upcoming events such as concerts or plays or to get to know your peers.
4. Signing up for Clearwater Hall
Clearwater Hall is a popular suite-style hall located in downtown Lewiston. It’s an uphill trek to class from Clearwater, one that is too long to walk with a backpack and too short to justify driving every day (if you bring your car).
5. Leaning towards three-person dorm rooms
I can’t explain the exact reason why living with two roommates in a small, cramped room in a basement doesn’t end well, but nobody lasted long. I watched countless roommates shuffle in and out of the three-person dorm room on my floor. Usually, two of the occupants became good friends and the third roommate was outed.
6. Scheduling unrealistic classes
It’s important to be honest with yourself. If you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule that 8 AM lecture you will never make. Give yourself the opportunity to do well the first time around.
7. Overloading your schedule
This goes for classes and activities. You’ll need to find a healthy balance of attending campus events and doing your work. Don’t be afraid to tell people you can’t go to the upcoming concert. Make sure to drop that class if you can’t handle the workload before it becomes a W on your transcript.
8. Eating whatever for every meal
Be smart about your meal choices. It’s easy to load up on prepaid pizza every night at the dining hall, but you need some vegetables and fruits too.
9. Going coffee crazy
Learn from me–copious amounts of coffee does not equal productivity. Yes, it’s a nice start to any day, but overdoing your coffee intake will not make that paper write itself or improve your class project.
10. Wearing your lanyard all the time
Please, please take your lanyard and keys off from around your neck. It’s not a necklace or a fashion statement. It’s a way for upperclassmen to recognize newbies.
11. Not coming to college prepared
Buy shower flip flops and wear them religiously. I have seen too many bare feet in the halls and bathrooms.
12. Joining every club in the first few weeks
It’s good to get involved. Be careful not to sign up for too much when they hand that clipboard around. You’ll end up with a bunch of unread emails in your inbox for various groups you don’t have time for.
13. Joining no clubs at all
Have fun! Make sure to find something that interests you to counteract the requisite courses you’re going to sit through. I used to attend Board Game Night, a casual club put on by a professor who owns stacks of unfamiliar but addicting board games.
14. Avoiding baseball games
I didn’t attend one baseball game my entire time at LCSC, and wish that I had. I generally avoided the craziness. Try it and if it’s not your cup of tea, leave.
15. Not utilizing the SUB
The Student Union Building (SUB) has different hours than the library, and a cozy second floor with a computer room. Find out if studying at the SUB is something you’d prefer to the library. Or watch the big game on the TV upstairs.
16. Not utilizing the gym
It’s free! People pay for memberships to exercise outside of college. Take full advantage of the gym hours and grab your group for a workout.
17. Keeping your horrible time management from high school
College is all about time management. You can’t cram for exams or put off homework until the last minute. Some people use calendars or planners to schedule out their studies so they can factor in other activities and keep themselves on track.
18. Assuming there aren’t any more scholarships
Search, search, search! LCSC has their own website for scholarships you should check out even if you’ve already begun attending school. Some scholarships are for upperclassmen specifically, so plan ahead.
19. Assuming you’ll graduate in four years
Not to be negative here, but most people do not actually graduate in four years. Colleges continue to sell themselves as four-year programs, but it’s not unusual for students to attend for five or six years total. It’s also not uncommon to switch majors or programs. If you want to graduate in four years exactly, make sure to plan your courses accordingly.
20. Thinking you’re alone
College is stressful. That’s why there’s someone you can speak to right on campus at the College Counseling Center. Every single girl living on my floor was seeing a counselor during my sophomore year of college. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them or make an appointment.