If you are a graduating senior this year and are about to start college the upcoming fall, at Mizzou or otherwise, then it is the perfect time to make note of the following tips and get a heads up of what to expect and what to avoid to make the best and the most out of your freshman year. These are the typical 15 mistakes every Mizzou freshman makes!
1. Slacking off
Don’t slack off thinking this is just your first semester and you will make up for it later on. If you screw up your GPA once, it will potentially affect your cGPA for the rest four years since it can get difficult to get back on track. So go to classes, submit all your homework and study for quizzes and finals.
2. Not living on campus
If you have the option of staying on or off campus your first year, definitely choose to live in a residence hall. Living in the dorms is one of the most classic experiences of college that you gotta have. Pulling all nighters with dorm mates in the study lounges, going into your friends’ rooms any time you want because they are literally a few steps away, sleeping in until the last minute and still making it to your morning classes are some of the things you should totally take advantage of in your freshman year.
3. Partying on a week night
You think you will be fine in the morning, but all this will lead to is a terrible hangover and make you skip classes.
4. Investing too much into a relationship
If you have not been in a long term relationship in high school, don’t get too serious about your first relationship in your freshman year. You will end up investing too much of yourself into it and it will cause a lot of distractions. So unless you totally have your priorities straight, it’s best to avoid a too serious relationship right away.
5. Thinking partying is the only way to socialize
This surprised me too when I first started at Mizzou. I had a misconception that all college students do for fun is party all day long. But trust me when I say this, there is just as many people who are not into partying as there is who are into it. So find some of these people and go to karaoke bars, restaurants, picnics or hiking! You can also check out Mizzou After Dark, an organization that arranges alternative events on weekend nights for people who want to socialize without alcohol or “going too wild”.
6. Signing up for 8 a.ms
By the end of first two weeks, you will curse yourself for putting yourself in this hell of a situation.
7. Not eating enough dining hall food
Even though food at Plaza 900 isn’t the most ideal and can get boring after a month, eat on campus. You are paying for the meal plan, so you might as well get your money’s worth. Also, don’t make yourself more broke by getting too much takeout, instead save that money for the unavoidable pizza orders on drunk weekend nights.
8. Going to bed super late and thinking you will still make it to your early class
This is college, not high school. So forget about going to bed at 3 am and still waking up at 8 feeling completely fresh and energized.
9. Blacking out every time you party
Don’t black out every time you are out drinking. It’s not fun to wake up in a random house or find yourself passed out in a bathroom in the middle of the night, having no idea how you got there. Also, what’s the point of having all that alcohol and meeting so many people if you can’t even remember any of the fun you had the night before.
10. Not going to the networking fairs
It’s never too early to start networking. Mizzou hosts various career fairs through the career center every semester. You should go to these events even if you are not currently looking for a job. Talking to people and leaving an impression always gives you an opportunity to reach out to them in the future and helps you make connections.
11. Thinking you will be best friends with your roommate
Don’t believe all the books and movies, because more often than not, you will probably not even be good friends with your roommate. In fact, consider yourself lucky if you manage to get along with him/her. That being said, don’t opt out of getting a random roommate or don’t room with someone you knew from high school. Living with a complete, random stranger puts you in a challenging situation since day one, something you should get used to if you wanna survive college. Plus it’s part of the whole “college experience”.
12. Not getting out of your comfort zone
Don’t stick to the interests you knew you had in high school. Instead, be open to experiments. Try new things with new people. Never been rock climbing? Go now. Or take a free self defense class. Participate in Relay For Life. Make yourself part of stuff that you previously thought wasn’t your thing. If you are not having fun, you can always leave. But it’s better to try something and then regret it than not trying it at all and wondering what if.
13. Not experimenting with classes enough
Even if you already know what you are going to major in, experiment with a couple electives that seem interesting, even if they have nothing to do with your major. Take the more challenging class that you will learn something new from rather than playing it safe. So go ahead, sign up for that acting class!
14. Thinking Greek life is the only to get really involved and/or find good friends
Although joining frats/sororities is known to bring you deep, meaningful friendships, it is certainly not the only way to meet good people. This is Mizzou and that means you literally have the opportunity to start a conversation with anyone, anywhere and anyday. The same goes with involvement. You don’t need Greek life for leadership and volunteering. Instead, you can join a student government organization like Missouri Students Association, or sign up for volunteering with programs such as Mizzou Alternative Breaks.
15. Worrying about your major
Your freshman year as a Tiger should be about taking some general education classes, making new connections, and navigating this whole new chapter of your life at Mizzou. Your major is something you don’t even have to declare until the second semester of your sophomore year, so it’s completely fine if you come into college as an undeclared major. Trust me, there’s plenty of students like you, and a lot of them even end up switching majors in their junior year, so you got nothing to worry about!
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