Freshman Year Mistakes to Avoid

By Alyssa Laffitte on October 19, 2019

If you are a freshman, don’t be intimidated by the whole college thing. You may feel like a small fish in a big pond, but if you avoid making these freshman mistakes, you will become a pro in no time.

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Going home too many times

You will likely miss home A LOT during your freshman year, so you might try to go back often. Going home often sounds like it will help the homesickness, but if you go home every weekend, you will miss out on the college experience. Many things happen on campus during the weekend that you will miss if you go home all the time. Instead, try to spend weekends with friends in your new city. This will allow you to strengthen your friendships with new people, and you will have so much fun you will forget about the homesickness. Especially during your first semester at college, try not to go home until Thanksgiving break. Focus your energy on enjoying your new city and new friends.

Eating unhealthy, and at all hours of the day

The “freshman 15” is a popular phrase for a reason. The stereotype that freshmen gain 15 pounds throughout their first year of college has a grain of truth to it. After all, you now have easy access to unhealthy food with all the restaurants available across campus. There is also no one to stop you from eating a whole bag of chips at 2AM. However, the freshman 15 is 100% avoidable.

Instead of eating fast food and snacking any time of the day, practice self-control when it comes to food. Swap out the chicken nuggets and fries for a big salad. Stop eating at 10PM, or three hours before you go to sleep. When you eat healthily, you give your body what it needs to help you live your busy college lifestyle.

Not studying

Many students come into college with few study skills. This will not fly in college, as you most definitely need time to study. If you are new to studying, don’t freak out if you don’t know what to. Try various studying techniques because different study techniques work for different people. Some students prefer to rewrite their notes, others prefer to draw out concept maps, and others prefer flashcards. All these are excellent ways to study. Set aside some time each day to study and figure out which method works best for you. You will be thankful you did when you take your first college test!

Giving yourself too much work

Your newfound independence in college also means you can set your own schedule. It’s easy to overload yourself with many classes and extracurricular activities. Although it’s good to be busy in college and to do things other than your schoolwork, you need to achieve a balance. Don’t take classes 8AM-3PM every day, and don’t sign up for so many activities that you don’t have at least one chill night every week. You will be stressed and burnt out in no time if you do this. Instead, sign up for only a few activities and as many classes as you need to graduate on time. No more, no less.

Because you are just starting out, it might take time for you to find this balance. Eventually, you will know how many classes and extracurriculars you can handle. Don’t give yourself more than that.

Not using the resources available on campus

College campuses have so many FREE resources for students! They have everything from libraries, career centers, tutors, math labs, and writing centers. These resources might not be advertised, so freshmen might not be aware of them. Do some research on your school’s website or ask older students about the resources available on campus. Find out what these resources are, and take advantage of them.

Not using a student discount

As a student, you get discounts at tons of places. Unfortunately, most students don’t take advantage of these discounts because they are often not advertised. When you shop, especially at places near your campus, ask if they have a student discount. The worst they can say is “no”.

Not forming relationships with your professors

Don’t be scared of your professors. They are a valuable resource! You never know if you will need a recommendation letter from them, or if they will be the ones to help you land your post-grad job. These benefits will only be available to you if your professor actually knows who you are. Your professor will get to you know you if you do things like answer (or ask) questions during class, visit office hours, talk to them after class, and ask them for help if you need it. They will be much more likely to help you out if they know you. Plus, they will probably not round up your 89.9% to an A- if they don’t know you. But if they know you are a hardworking student, they just might!

Not communicating with your roommate

Sharing a living space with someone requires communication. This definitely applies to a college roommate situation! Toward the beginning of the year, communicate with each other about your expectations for living together. You should discuss expectations for: noise level, guests, and sharing items. Communicating with your roommate will save you from many conflicts with them.

If you avoid making these mistakes, you will have a successful freshman year!

23, ISFJ. Biology student. College lifestyle blogger. Avid reader and writer. Dog lover. Nerd. Boyband enthusiast. Superhero in training. Here to help you become the best you can be!

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