Going to college can be intimidating if you have no idea what to expect. Lucky for you, here are mistakes every freshman at Longwood University makes, so you can avoid making the same ones!
1. Way overpacking!
Your dorm room is not that big. I repeat, your dorm room is NOT that big. Also, you have to share it with another roommate who probably overpacked as well. Also, let’s be serious, you are not going to use that iron that mom wants you to pack, you’ll be lucky to get your clothes washed before you run out of underwear. If you really need something and didn’t bring it, you can go to Walmart. The only thing achieved by overpacking is that your room will never be clean because you won’t have enough space to fit everything.
2. Wearing your keys on a lanyard around your neck.
This just screams “FRESHMAN” to all the upperclassmen, and it’s not going to get you the right attention. So, Ladies, put your keys on a cute wristlet. Guys, stick the keys in your pocket (since guys are blessed with enormous pockets anyway), and let the lanyard dangle out of it. That’s how we do it at Longwood.
3. Not being involved.
Longwood can be your home away from home, but only if you let it. If you hole up in your room every weekend, or go home every chance you get, then you don’t really get the opportunity to see all that campus has to offer. You aren’t going to be making a lot of friends that way, and Longwood might never become comfortable to you. I’m not saying to never go home, but find a good balance.
4. Signing up for EVERYTHING!
I get it, you want to be involved and make new friends. It is so much better, though, if you have time to actually enjoy the activities that you’re a part of and spend time with all your new friends. Sign up for a few things that you are excited about, and go to a few meetings to see whether it’s a good fit. Find what you like, and spend your time there.
5. Not taking advantage of free events on campus.
Let’s be serious, we’re all broke college students here. Why spend all your money trying to find entertainment, when Longwood offers so many things to you just for being a student? Go to some Longwood sports games (I’m a fan of baseball/softball season, personally) or see what events Lancer Productions has planned. You won’t get bored if you take advantage of what Longwood has to offer.
6. Getting into a relationship right away.
Sure, it works out for some people, but college is a huge change. Let yourself adjust and settle in a little bit before you get tied down.
7. Buying textbooks at full price.
Rarely do you have to buy textbooks brand new, so shop around and see where you can get used copies at discounted prices. Even better, see if you can rent some of them for the semester (especially if it’s a class outside of your major).
8. Not knowing how to get to class.
Do everyone a favor and look at your schedule before the first day of class. Mentally map out how to get to your classes. Better yet, actually walk around to your classrooms (Pro tip: this is an excellent thing to ask your peer mentor to do with you). It will make your first day a whole lot easier when you aren’t struggling to look at the campus map on your phone screen (because everyone knows that’s cooler than carrying a paper map).
9. Not showing up to class.
You are at Longwood for a reason, and hopefully it’s to get a degree! You (or your parents) are paying approximately $80-90 per class hour that you’re signed up for, so it’s a huge waste to not show up. Not to mention that college classes are harder than high school, and it’s really easy to fall behind if you make a habit of skipping.
10. Being afraid to speak up in class.
Longwood is a small school, so we see you as a student, not just a number. Your Bio 101 class will not be 300 people like at some bigger universities, instead it might be 40 people (even that’s on the larger side), but that comes with its own effects. Professors expect you to be involved in class, and to actively participate in your own learning. Don’t be the person who sits in the back and never says a word. Interact, meet your classmates, let your professors know what you think.
11. Thinking Farmville is boring.
There is so much to do in Farmville, if you just give it a chance. Check out the free events on campus or around town, there’s a lot to do if you take the time to find it.
12. Partying too hard.
I’m not going to be the bajillionth person to preach to you the dangers of drinking underage. I know a lot of people do it, that doesn’t make it legal, but it happens. Just be smart about what you’re doing. Don’t accept drinks from strangers, and don’t get blackout drunk. We really just want you home safe by the morning. <3
13. Posting THAT picture.
We get it, you’re out having fun and things happen. Just remember, today your friends will see it and maybe even some elderly relatives. Eventually though, a future boss might see it… than you’ve got problems. I like to think of this as the “What would Granny think?” rule.
14. Quitting the scholarship search.
Sure, you might already have a scholarship package from Longwood or elsewhere, but who couldn’t use a little extra money? Now that you’ve started college, you might even find some more that weren’t available to you before.
15. Failing to use your peer mentor.
Longwood is literally paying this person to be there for you and help you out (and we love to do that). So please, ask your peer mentor any questions on your mind, let us walk you to your class or meet for lunch. It’s what we’re here for.
16. Gaining the Freshman 15.
It’s a really thing. While it might be tempting to eat easy mac every day and binge Netflix in all your free time, please remember your health too. Sometimes it might be a good idea to venture to the gym, or maybe eat some vegetables? Mom isn’t here to remind you anymore, so it’s all on you.
17. Forgetting to call home.
Mom and Dad aren’t here with you, and they miss you. Give them a call every week or two. It will set their minds at ease, and you can ask mom (again) how to get spaghetti sauce out of your favorite white t-shirt, it’s a win-win.
18. Trying to be someone you’re not.
Yes, college is a blank slate, and you can totally reinvent yourself if you want to, but that’s exhausting. Take the time to find who you are and what makes you happy, you’ll find your niche somewhere.
19. Forgetting other people are in the same boat.
There are more than 1000 other freshmen here. Odds are, someone feels like you. They are worried about their first day, their roommate, learning to live on their own. They understand what you are going through, and you should never forget that.
20. Lastly, and most importantly: Asking to go to the bathroom during class.
Should you probably go before class? Should you ask the professor if you can go during class? No. It disturbs the class and, quite frankly, your professor will probably look at you like you’re crazy. You’re in college… handle your business.