Being a freshmen is tough. Living on your own for the first time means new ways of dealing with your responsibilities, new experiences and new knowledge. It is easy to make mistakes in this transitioning period. Avoiding the following mistakes will help you navigate your first year of college without damaging your grades, your friendships or your parent’s checkbooks.
1. Spending too much on textbooks
There are many options to keep textbook costs cheaper. Before you buy your books, it is good to check how often you will use them in the syllabus. If you will not be using them too often, look to the possibility of borrowing them from friends or the library. If a book is more than a “suggested reading” it would be good to check out websites like Amazon rather than buying from the bookstore.
2. Loading your schedule
Especially for students who excelled in their high school courses, it can be easy to load yourself down with coursework. Remember that your college experience will be more difficult than your high school workload. You will also be adjusting to more responsibility. Don’t take too many difficult courses, at least in the first semester. Balancing your schedule is very important.
3. Taking too many blow off courses
Speaking of balancing, it is also important to make sure that you are not blowing off your freshman year. It is easy to let your new found freedom get to your head, but remember, when you are senior trying to pull through the end of finals it will be nice if you have a schedule that allows for some downtime in addition to your high level classes.
4. Not making time for your personal life
Make sure you are not so focused on the grades that you forget there is life outside of the classroom. Of course you should do your best in your courses, but make the most out of your time outside of the classrooms also. You may not end up being a psychologist even though you majored in psychology but the college experience will be essential to your future career.
5. Not checking out other options
Even if you have always thought you would be a lawyer, maybe you take an art history class and realize that your art hobby could turn into a career. Keep your options open. If you stick to your old ideas about your future you might end up missing out on what you truly love to do.
6. Sticking with your old crew
Another area where it is good to explore new options is friendships. A lot of people end up going to the same college as their high school friends. Sticking to your high school crew is not going to give you the opportunity to branch out. While you don’t have to drop your old friends, it is good to make new friends as well.
7. Posting too many party photos
Part of trying new things is trying new party experiences. Not all of the photos from these experiences need to go on social media. In fact, maybe it is best if none of them do. Employers look at your social media accounts and even if you know that your job search is a long way off it is best to keep this space clean from the start.
8. Not attending school sponsored events
Attending school events might not have been cool in high school but it is a great way to meet people in college. Sporting events, class barbeques, bowling for your dorm floor, all these things might seem a bit lame but you might end up having more fun than you think!
It is likely that your college freedom will cause some interesting adjustments in your sleeping and eating schedules. This is when time management comes in handy. Make sure you set aside some time to study every day and make sure you are starting assignments fairly early. There is no need to add extra pressure when you are already sleep deprived!
10. Not being in contact with your parents
While it is probably best not to go home every weekend or be on the phone with your parents all of the time, it is also good for you to stay in contact with your parents on somewhat of a consistent basis. This is for many reasons of course, but mostly it will ease your parents’ minds if you remind them every once in a while that you are alive and well, and that your grades and social life are healthy.