Remember all those college movies where the dream is to attend a beautiful campus, have life-long friends, where education is a “breeze”, and you will graduate in 4 years? Well get that out of your head now. Obviously, we all know that college isn’t what we find in the movies. College leads to depression, malnutrition, and needing more than one plan when things go wrong. Sometimes you don’t realize when you need a BREAK and when you’re ready to start writing your will. In college, mistakes commonly happen amongst those under the age of 21 but it begins during The Freshman Year of Hell. The good thing is you’re still alive, right? Anyways, these are 19 mistakes every Northern Arizona University freshman makes.
1. Wishing Away Your Money Problems
FAFSA: terrible! That basically sums up what I’m going to tell you about this mistake. In college you have this application that reads: FAFSA. FAFSA, that’s the only word that pops in your head 24/7. Suppose you were not like me, filling out this non-readable fancy word document. There is one section that states how much money you make and for some odd reason I put $84,000….I do not make $84,000. I’m not a millionaire like Beyonce or J-Lo, but I do know what English is (maybe!)
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a form that does not make your money problems go away because you have to pay back all the loans you accepted throughout your college career unless your family is like mine, making $84,000 a year. FAFSA gives you “FREE” money for school, and who doesn’t want free money? Don’t get me started on the process of this application. They want to know everything, like where you live, how much money your parents make, and your social security number. For one moment I thought FAFSA was the government stealing your identity, but I thought wrong… I hope.
2. Praying To The Coffee Gods
Hallelujah, what’s college without Starbucks? Many students go to Starbucks looking like a zombie because they’re exhausted all the time from “doing nothing.” (College.) Starbucks is heaven in a cup. All that delicious goodness of a Caramel Macchiato upside down with extra caramel. Unfortunately, waiting and being 50th in line just reminds me of the second tier of hell: the DMV. Coffee, Coffee, and Coffee is right around the corner from the Union, but to do what every normal college student needs to accomplish, DO NOT, I repeat, Do NOT buy Starbucks after 6:OO pm because you will regret it the next day. Side effects may include excessive behavior, and over-dramatic complaining.
3. Not having enough money for snacks before the Netflix binge.
Looking at my bank account like… “in need of job!” You can’t binge-watch your amazing TV shows like Pretty Little Liars, Orange is the New Black, Dance Moms, and Stranger Things because snacks crave your attention while you’re being a lazy bum on your bed. The problem is: no money, no snacks. You have to go to Plan B which is spending all of your transfers (Meal Plan) because since FAFSA is “paying for your college,” well, I guess take advantage of this situation. By the end of the week you will have 3 large pepperoni pizzas, 2 venti fraps, and 5 bags of snacks for only $2,000 a year.
4. Believing you CAN have a social life, a job, good grades, and still have time to eat.
College is when you actually become an adult. Adulting is not that difficult. It’s not like you’re taking 18 credits, in a sport, involved in a fraternity or sorority, and working on campus…. Did I lie again? I sure did! The great thing about Northern Arizona today is that they want you to be involved for your four years in college, or for even longer. Take it easy your first year.
5. The snooze button
“Beep…beep…beep..” 5 more minutes!!! Which mean your life is over once you roll out of bed. Your class may start at approximately 11:30 but for some reason your alarm wasn’t working… (cough) you pressed the snooze button, and you leave the door at 11:20. Every college student does not wake up at the time they should (or maybe it’s “pneumonia.”) Who knows. The “smart” college student sets their alarm more than 6 times, starting at 3:00 in the morning. The good thing about NAU is that the professors are more lenient when it comes to students who have never heard of daylight savings.
6. The seasonal class slip and slide.
Sing it with me: “It’s the most wonderful time for a concussion!” Be prepared for it to be -1 degrees while walking to class, and sooner or later you will turn into an ice skating pro. Wearing the wrong outfit can cause a lot of regret, because think about it: walking from the Sechrist building (freshman hall) to South Campus in piles of snow and a blizzard WILL happen at 7:00 in the morning during finals and it’s about a 30 minute walk or more. NOT FUN. Think about where you come from, whether it’s California or Nevada, because you’re in for a winter wonderland (when you have the right gear on, of course.
7. WW Roommates: “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLLLLEEEE!!!!”
In this corner, one roommate is mad about loud, constant Skype conversations, and in this corner, another roommate is mad about being the only one who bothers to wash the dishes. Well, sometimes that’s what living on campus is all about. Someone you do not know is going to live with you, regardless of how much stress and how many fights may occur. Please do the housing application truthfully because you don’t want to ruin your chances of getting the best roommate for you. I suggest rooming with someone you know because you don’t want John Cena vs. Randy Orton to happen every day.
8. Not having a plan when you’re sexiled.
Well, Library it is. You have to find some place to go because when your roommate wants to “study” then you should probably leave to study at Cline Library, or the Union, or maybe the gym. (Even though this may be irrelevant; who goes to the gym??) Anyway, not having a plan is the biggest mistake of them all because your roommate might want some “alone time” with their S.O. around 9:00 at night. Then you’ll have to go out in the freezing cold, but doesn’t the Union close at 8:00? UGH. I guess you’ll either have to stay at a friend’s house or try to find a better place to study, even though you don’t have any homework during your time off and you just want to be lazy for the rest of the night.
9. Attendance: What a beach.
At South Campus there’s a wide range of students tasking CCJ 100, and this lecture hall is filled with 100 students, and there goes the professor who takes roll every time you have class. But, then you have classes like Geology where the professor doesn’t care about attendance that much. It’s such a drag where you actually have to go to class just because the professor takes roll, even though that class is irrelevant, especially if it’s not part of your major. Attendance actually counts on your record. (WHATTTTTT???) Yes. If you don’t go to class that means you will fail, and might end up being on academic probation, and you wouldn’t want that.
10. Enrollment + Advisor = 7:00 in the morning.
Waking up at 7 a.m. is not what every freshman student dreams about when going to school. Every student is given a time to enroll in classes, but that time for freshmen is scheduled after the seniors. Don’t worry, you will still get your classes, but only two out of the six. This is a dreaded moment because you need your classes for the fall and spring. I suggest you see an advisor before you enroll in any classes because you will not be allowed to enroll otherwise. Make sure you have your classes in the shopping cart on Northern Arizona’s LOUIE page, and wake up before 7 to hit that enroll button before time runs out.
11. Test this week. Study? Party?….Party!
College is all about parties, parties and more parties. It’s not like you have a test the next day, so you don’t have to study! Wait, you do have to study because the biggest mistake college students ever make is to go to a party and the next morning, not remember what’s on the test, or even remember to write their name down. STUDY, because your life depends on it.
12. Mommy, what are taxes?
Ahhhhhhhhh, taxes. Everything is taxed because you’re going to start to pay Uncle Sam once you find a job, and that makes adulting go to a whole new level. Make sure once you get a job to fill out the W-2, which is a form that you provide to the school showing how much money you make a year and how much you have to pay in taxes, which affects how much you’re able to receive in financial aid. Bleh bleh bleh bleh!
13. Webwork is your “friend.”
I know, I know, MATH! Well the great thing about NAU is that you only take math that is required for your major or if you pass the assessment test. It’s okay though, it’s not like you’re going to have math more than 3 or 4 times a week. Webwork is what we call online work. which for those not remembering to turn it in, keep in mind that Webwork is everywhere you go, on your phone, laptop, and computer, and never leaves your side. Don’t forget to do it because it may be worth 20% of your grade.
14. Hit The road Jacks, and don’t you come back no more.
You may be a freshman now, but eventually you have to face the facts that housing for students won’t be here much longer. When you’re a junior and a senior you actually have to get your very own apartment. NAU is like, “Nope, we don’t want the juniors or seniors anymore because they are turning into ‘adults.’” I know that you’re still a freshman and you don’t have to worry about that now, but time goes by fast.
15. How much time is in 24 hours?
Life is beautiful when you have homework, a test coming up, a performance, work, and a hang out scheduled with the squad. Yeah, think again! There’s so much to do in only 24 hours, by the time you go to bed you’ll forget what you did the whole day. You know what college students do: they all supply themselves with a magical book called “A Planner” containing fantasies that they tell themselves about their schedule for the whole month. “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s gonna study for their test after all?”
16. Target is just around the corner.
“Oh, we can just walk!” But by the time you buy the whole store you may need an Uber. Sometimes it’s hard because you make a list with a few things on it, but come out with the whole store. Then, Target loses business because the shelves are empty, so you have no place to go. The biggest mistake is the idea that Target is only “five minutes away” and saying “I’m only going to buy a couple of things.” That “couple of things” turns out to cost $100.. Try not to waste money on stuff that’s not that important, like school supplies. (Just kidding).
17. Responsibility isn’t part of the tuition?
Without family members in the picture, you won’t be able to have home cooked meals or someone to wash the dishes. You know what that means: you have to be an adult. Ugh, adulting. I figured we would get a maid. Isn’t that what our tuition is for? Nope. It’s hard without someone there but if you don’t get it done by the time family weekend comes, your family is gonna do whatever they can to make it your home, like my family. Responsibility isn’t part of the tuition but a big mistake college freshman make: they stop adulting. I know it’s hard, but keep adulting, it’s good for your health. Please don’t pass out when it’s your time to adult.
18. Dating, Dating, and Dating!
You have to look absolutely handsome or beautiful for your date, because college is all about dating, right? Wrong again, because dating is not like the movie Never Been Kissed, because reality leads to many heartbreaks, and you get so distracted you don’t even remember what college you go to, because you’re too busy trying to forget the idiot who dumped you during finals. Don’t ever let someone tell you otherwise, because relationship angst is not worth sacrificing your education.
19. E.T. Phone Home
Let’s be honest, you’re probably that student who calls your family everyday (or maybe it’s just me.) It’s hard living away from home, especially if you’re out of state (and even if you live in Phoenix, which is two hours away from NAU.) Students sometimes regret calling home, because their parents’ voices, and the thought of homemade meals and messing around with their siblings, makes them too sad to function and then they think to themselves: “I can skip that class for one day.” I’m that student that misses my family so much, and I bet you every college student is the same, hopefully.
These are the 19 mistakes every Northern Arizona University freshman makes, which is a good thing because if you think about it, without these mistakes you wouldn’t be an NAU freshman and anxiously waiting for senior year. Like I said before, college is not like the movies but it’s still something to look forward to, because it is a frustrating, exciting, wonderful dream come true. Keep Calm and Kick Axe, We are the Lumberjacks! Have a great freshman year!