Let’s face it, everyone spends their first year at college a little confused. Mistakes are bound to happen and these are some mistakes every Miami University Ohio freshman has probably made at least once. Know you’re not alone in your awkward blunders, we’ve all been there, too.
1. Stepping on the seal.
Everyone will tell you not to step on the seal, but chances are that you’ll just roll your eyes. Bad things happen when you step on the seal; maybe you’ll actually fail your next exam like the superstitions say or maybe you’ll just spill your coffee. It’s better not to take your chances!
2. Getting lost!
Yes, all the buildings are red brick, and yes they all look the same if you haven’t spent a lot of time on campus. You’re going to get lost, it’s completely normal. However, carrying around a map will make you look silly. Pull up the map on your phone if you must! After a week or two of walking around campus, you’ll be able to tell the buildings apart in a snap.
3. Not going to office hours.
Everyone will tell you at the beginning of the year that going to office hours is important. Your professor writes the exams, after all, and talking to them individually can really help you get a better grasp on tricky concepts. However, if you professor seems scary, it’s easy to shrug off office hours and try to get help from your peers.
4. Forgetting people’s names.
When you’re meeting new people in all your classes, in residence hall, in your clubs, it’s easy for the faces and names to blur together. You could sit next to the same girl in lab for the whole semester and never learn her name. She probably doesn’t remember your name either, but neither of you will ask because you feel bad. Go ahead and ask, it’s more embarrassing to not know it ever than to have to ask.
5. Not trying new food.
You’re in college now and there are a lot of opportunities to try new food, both in the dining halls and uptown. Let’s face it, not all the food in the dining halls is great, but trying something new will make sure you don’t spend three months eating only mac and cheese. That will get so boring after a while. Uptown, you can try places like Sushi Nara and Bagel and Deli.
6. Partying “too” hard.
Partying is part of the college experience but if you find yourself throwing up in a trashcan on the steps of your residence hall, you may have made a mistake.
7. Not bringing warm clothes.
You think it isn’t going to get too cold before you leave for Thanksgiving or winter break, but it will. You’ll be walking from class shivering or step out of your final to find a fresh coating of snow on the ground and you will immediately regret not choosing the Miami University in Florida rather than the one in Ohio.
8. Watching Netflix until 3 am.
It might seem like a great idea to use your new found freedom to watch some Netflix, but before you realize it, you’re seven episodes deep and you have to be at class at 8:30. You’re going to regret not getting enough sleep as your professor drones on about plant evolution.
9. Not doing assigned reading.
We can all readily admit that there are some classes where reading the textbook probably won’t help you. However, if you’re struggling in the class and the professor decides to test knowledge you should have gathered from your textbooks, you’re in a lot of trouble. If you feel uneasy about the class, it’s best to take some notes on the readings.
10. Missing out on cultural events on-campus.
Lots of concerts, movie showings, and fun events happen on campus. There’s plays, the art museum, musicals, Late-Night Miami events, even therapy dogs and tiny horses. All of these are here to provide you with fun experiences and new perspectives. They’re a lot of fun to attend and are far more interesting than your five season Netflix marathon, if you have the time, go to one!
11. Putting off studying for exams.
It’s two days before your biology final exam and you’re learning how to play music from Hamilton on the piano instead of studying. Bad idea. Waiting until the last minute to study for your finals will reflect in your grades. Keep on top of your work and start studying early. You’ll feel much less panicked when midterms and finals come around.
Starbucks might be ten steps down the street, but having a venti triple shot of espresso at eleven pm might just be your worst idea. You’ll feel the caffeine crash in the middle of your most boring class the next day.
13. Scheduling early classes.
You thought you could handle that 8:30 am class, but when you sleep through it at least once a week, maybe it’s better to just stick to ten o’clock classes or later, especially if you’re consistently not getting to sleep until one in the morning.
14. Wearing a lanyard with your ID.
No one is sure why this is such a no-no, but you look like a freshman if you do this. Better to risk losing the thing that opens your door and buys your food than to commit this fashion faux-pas. Better yet, rock that lanyard in all its convenient glory.
15. Going to King Library the weekend before finals.
You won’t find a single seat anywhere in that building no matter what time you go. Everyone is there studying and regretting all their life choices that led them to this point. Find a lesser known study spot or reserve a study room ahead of time if you’re desperate for somewhere to study.
16. Walking under the bell tower right as it rings.
It sure looks beautiful, and sounds it too, unless you’re walking right next to it. Your ear drums may vibrate a little bit and you’ll look silly for getting startled, but at least you know what time it is now.
17. Not getting involved.
Yes, there’s a lot to balance with your course work, but there are so many great student organizations to get involved in. With everything from Quidditch to professional fraternities, you have your pick of the lot and they look great on applications. You’ll definitely make a lot of friends and you have to try broom ball, Miami university’s favorite sport.
18. Using your entire meal plan too early.
You’ll regret this when its finals week and you can’t afford a cup of coffee let alone the ten dollar tray of sushi you just bought. Think of your future self before you buy that tiny cake that costs fifteen dollars.
19. Buying books before the class starts.
There’s the chance your professor doesn’t use the book or that you won’t find yourself needing it. Textbooks can be super pricey, so wait to see if you’ll need them before you waste on the money on what may essentially be an expensive paper weight.
20. Not appreciating your time at Miami.
As slow as it might seem like the time goes, when you look back, it will seem like shortest time of your life. You’ll miss it, in all of it’s red bricked splendor and wish you were a freshman again, with four years ahead of you. As Robert Frost said, “To think that in such a place, I led such a life.” Enjoy your time here and make the most of it.
Featured photo source: miamiseal.wordpress.com and flickr.com
Liz is a double major in French and diplomacy & global politics.