7 Mistakes Every Freshman Makes

Posted October 17, 2012

Freshman year is one of the best times in college. Everything is so new and exciting, and, best of all, you don’t have Mom or Dad breathing down your neck, telling you to clean your room or get home before curfew. But with this new freedom comes lots of bad decisions and regrettable mistakes. Part of it is learning the ropes of college and the other part is mostly bad judgment. The good news is these things happen to just about every first-year college student regardless of what program you study – criminal justice, health, liberal arts, technology, design. Here are seven mistakes every freshman makes:

  1. Skipping class:

    This is one of the most common mistakes freshman make, and, sadly, many don’t learn the error of their ways until they see their grades. Whether it’s that annoying 8 a.m. class or the last class of the week, skipping class is one the dumbest things you can do in college. Not only does it put you behind in class, but you also miss out on valuable lessons and important information that can help you better understand the class material and succeed on exams. Skipping class could also mean missed pop quizzes or extra-credit opportunities that only happen every once in a while. Being a good student should be your No. 1 priority while in college, and it all starts with the simple act of going to class.

  2. Partying too much:

    College is a time for exploration and experimentation, which, for many students, involves drinking or doing drugs. For freshman, the newfound freedom and lack of supervision opens the door for excessive partying. Partying too much can lead to a slew of problems, including academic failure, run-ins with the law, and suspension from school. For many, it only takes one blackout night, police scare, or threat of suspension to teach most freshman how to handle their alcohol and tame down their partying, while others take all four years (or more) to finally figure it out.

  3. Neglecting your health:

    Freshman are known for having some of the worst health habits of all time. When they’re not in class, they’re typically overeating at the dining halls, avoiding the gym, partying, and not getting enough sleep. These bad habits are what lead to the infamous freshman 15. Besides weigh gain, neglecting your health can also lead to illness, stress, and other health problems that may get in the way of school and your social life.

  4. Irresponsible shacking:

    With all this newfound freedom come fewer inhibitions, and for many students, this includes sexual inhibitions. Freshman are notorious for sneaking students of the opposite sex into the dorms and "shacking up" whenever the opportunity arises. Sometimes they know the person, and sometimes they don’t even know their first name. Even if it’s all in good fun, this kind of carelessness can come back to bite you when you’re least expecting it. If you’re going to have sex, be smart about it. Use protection, get tested, and know your partner’s status.

  5. Taking too many classes:

    It happens every year. Freshman finish their first semester of college and feel confident in taking on a bigger course load the second semester only to find out that they are in way over their head. The overeager or misguided freshmen who take too many classes usually end up dropping a course or agonizing over school until the end of the semester. To avoid overexerting yourself, only take as many classes as you can realistically handle.

  6. Applying for credit cards:

    This is one of the more regrettable mistakes freshman make in college. Every year, credit card companies and retailers target college students to apply for credit cards and rake in the dough when they max out their card or miss payments. Although it may seem like a good idea to have a credit card as a backup form of payment; it is more risky than safe. Before you apply for any tempting credit card, talk to your parents and see if this is a viable option for you.

  7. Avoiding your R.A.:

    You may not think much of it at the time, but not getting to know your dorm floor’s R.A. is a mistake you may later regret. At first, most freshman are hesitant to get to know their R.A. because they don’t want to befriend the enemy, but they will later come to see that your R.A. only wants to help you and make your college experience memorable. Getting to know you R.A. is helpful, especially since they are older and have been in your shoes before. Whether you have a question about school, life, or love, your R.A. is always there to listen and help however he or she can

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