18 Common College Freshman Mistakes To Avoid

If you’re a college freshman, you’re probably used to advice at this point. You’ve likely been getting it for at least a year and a half. It has probably been coming at you from all angles from parents, teachers, guidance counselors, random people from colleges who would visit your schools, old siblings, and cousins. The thought of more advice might have you wanting to bury your head in your hands. But, this isn’t the same old “this is you future” talk.

For one thing, it’s coming from the people on the internet. (Thanks, Reddit.) Second, it’s focusing on mistakes. There’s a lot to deal with at college. This is likely the first time that you’re on your own without friends and family or anyone you know to help you figure it out. That’s why it can be helpful to know what not to do. In some ways, it might even be more informative. So, dear freshman, take a look at 18 common college freshman mistakes to avoid.

1. Do not overdo it.
Take it easy, this is an adjustment. It’s not a race.

2. Skip class.
You’re paying big money for this. Why would you want to skip it? It’s your GPA that will suffer.

3. Watch out for the bookstore.
Convenience equals $$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

4. Not managing your time wisely.
And a bonus assignment tip.

5. Don’t parade around your student ID card.
Hello, freshman. Also, people at the grocery store, coffee shop, and photocopy center don’t need to see your student ID on your neck.

6. Scheduling super early classes.
The thought of having the whole day free might seem appealing, but it won’t work out if you’re not a morning person. Unfortunately, sometimes you don’t have a choice.

7. Not taking responsibility. 
You’re adulting and it comes with responsibilities.

8. Actually making mistakes.
Interesting twist for you. Making some mistakes now could help you later in life.

9. Watch out for credit cards.
It’s a slippery slope. If you must use them, be sensible.

10. Not realizing there are online parts of the course.
Pay attention to all of the details.

11. Stay on top of the requirements. Always.
Check and check again. Then check some more.

12. Getting student loans.
Sometimes you don’t have a choice.

13. Not reaching out to people.
It’s not just about coursework. This is a time to build relationships.

14. Not making use of what you paid for.
You have it, use it. Period.

15. Always being on Skype/the phone.
Don’t let it consume you.

16. Not asking for help.
If you don’t understand something, speak up. If you don’t get it, speak up. You don’t have to do it in lecture, if you’re self-conscious. There are study groups, your prof will have office hours or you can email him/her.

7. Keeping long-distance relationships going.
Sometimes people move on and you need to break it off.

18. Not choosing roommates carefully.
They can make life great…or they can make life awful.


What’s the best advice you’ve received for college? Let us know in the comments!


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