Trust me the list below exists mostly because I made every one of these mistakes or one of my friends have or I’ve seen it a million times. Everyone makes mistake, but it seems like freshman really just have to adjust to a steep learning curve. So without further ado, here are some common and sometimes horrific head slapping mistakes that every Michigan State freshman make:
1. Wearing those green lanyards EVERYWHERE
So every freshman gets these lanyards when moving into their dorms, or at orientation honestly I can’t remember the exact origin because I’ve blocked it from memory. But a mistake freshman make, yes including myself, is wearing them everywhere, to class, going out to parties etc. This is basically a huge flashing red light to every other student on campus that you’re a freshman. SO, if you’re like me and don’t want to be an obvious freshman, all you gotta do is put your dorm key and MSU ID on a key chain and in your wallet.
2. Bicycles on the first day of classes – equals – chaos
For all that is good in the world, just don’t do it. Every single year, without fault, there will be approximately a billion bicyclists on campus. There have been times I’ve seen people catch literal air while flying off a bicycle because they ran into someone. Honestly it’s kind of frightening, so just don’t ride your bicycle the first week of classes and save yourself some bruises both physically and emotionally.
3. Bicycles in the winter, just why
Unless you want to A) freeze to death, B) slide into every single pole on campus, or C) land face first into black ice, then I’d recommend putting your bicycle on sabbatical for the winter. Blame Michigan.
4. Walking aimlessly into every house party you see
I can admit for a single month I was a victim of this mistake, and boy when I look back on it I can feel the shame. Being a freshman you may not know many people so you decide to just try to find a house party in East Lansing and somehow end up in random peoples houses. Not only is this unsafe but its just plain weird and annoying to anyone who lives off campus. So save yourself from embarrassingly being thrown out of some random persons birthday party, while all their friends watch. Just try to find people who are from Michigan and know people off campus who are having parties. That way when someone asks you “Who do you know here?” you don’t have to try to come up with the most common names in America.
5. Relying on the caf food for every meal
You have to keep some water bottles or gatorade bottles in your dorm room, but also get some dry pantry snacks from Meijer for in between classes. There will be days you can’t make it to the caf.
6. Driving to class
Not only is it just a pain to have a car when you live off campus but it’s just not necessary. It’s astronomically expense to keep your car in one of the lots and you don’t even really need it cause you already live on campus. Also if you do drive to class PAY FOR PARKING, MSU parking police are SAVAGES, savages I tell you. They are everywhere and they will give you a ticket if you don’t pay.
7. Skipping class, or more specifically the necessary 8am’s everyone has to take
Everyone has 8am’s freshman year because most of the lectures are during those times (unless you are a magical unicorn who somehow figured out before college how to avoid 8am’s). So sometimes, well actually all the time, you are going to want to skip those classes, please don’t or you will end up in the basement of your dorm the day before your exams at 3am with 20 cups of coffee in front of you googling how to make it in life if you drop out of college. Or maybe that’s just me.
8. Get Starbucks everyday
Starbucks is smart, it has strategically assembled shops on campus where you walk past at least one every day to class. Don’t go broke, don’t let Starbucks win, be smarter.
9. Not getting a bus pass
Yes that $50 dollars seems like a lot in the beginning but you will be thanking those beautiful CATA buses when winter comes around.
10. Planning on riding the buses in winter
Above I mentioned riding the buses in winter and how they are helpful. Yeah that’s a lie, everyone takes the buses in the winter, therefore when you’re freezing outside and already five minutes late to your class, CATA will just pass you by because it’s already full of people.
11. Not memorizing the bus routes
Unless you want to find yourself in butt freaking nowhere, then figure out the bus systems and make sure you remember the buses you should take to be able to get home.
12. Petting those nice doggies you see on campus
Yeah those “nice doggies” are usually training to be service dogs (if they are wearing a vest) and you actually aren’t allowed to touch them (sad I know). So unless you want to be kind of thrown when their owner gives you a dirty look cause you touched their dog then keep your paws to yourself.
13. Being the one person not doing crap in a group project
Let me tell you this is not high school, college students are savage, they WILL report that you did nothing to contribute on a group project and you WILL get a 0%.
14. Waiting for the last second to study for an exam
Again this isn’t high school, you have to start studying for exams like weeks in advance, but this is really a mistake every college student at every level makes….like before every exam.
15. Constantly pulling all-nighters
Unless you want to die a slow and agonizing death where you find yourself asleep for two days then just go to sleep like a normal person every night.
16. Using mom/dads credit card like you’re a millionaire
You know, you may just be a millionaire, but I’m betting not all of you are so try to limit yourself from online shopping every day, buying pizza/insomnia every night and getting party supplies every weekend. This way you can avoid those nasty phone calls from the rents lecturing you about how to spend wisely and inquiring why there’s a 200 dollar charge on the card for Chipotle.
17. Partying (TOO) hard
Emphasis on the TOO hard, just don’t let yourself fail out freshman year, that would be a shame.
18. Jumping in the Red Cedar River
I don’t know when this became a thing, and you know it could be cool but keep in mind that it’s gonna be seriously too cold and I’m pretty sure its gross AF (I did a lab on the water once #school).
19. Walking alone
You know that trail behind East Campus next to the river, it’s sketchy at night. Just steer clear or walk with a friend (especially girls and this can apply to anywhere on campus at
20. NOT participating in tailgates
MSU TAILGATES ARE SERIOUSLY (scientifically) THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY. Grab some friends, and party hard.