Pitfalls of a College Freshman (and how to avoid them)


Many college freshmen find it hard adjusting to their new lifestyles once they graduate high school. Life seems to take a turn and, all of a sudden, you’re an adult. This sudden independence can cause students to make huge (or small) mistakes. Here’s what to avoid:
Over scheduling. Many students go into college eager to learn and ready to shorten their time in college, so they can reach their career sooner. While this is an amazing characteristic, students should avoid handling heavy class loads. College classes are much harder than high school courses, meaning more independent work and studying to stay on track. If a student takes too many classes at once, it’ll actually cause the opposite result and will set them back. This is because with every hour of lecture, students are recommended to study three hours. Hence, with too many classes come too many hours of studying and could essentially set you back or cause you to get lower grades.
Missing classes. While it is fun to get away and enjoy yourself, keep it in check. If you have a lecture in the morning, avoid staying up all night partying. It could be easy, now with this new found independence, to lose track of when to go to sleep and when to wake up, but try to keep track of this. If you’re going away for college or staying in the city, being on time and constantly attending class is a very important and beneficial way to pass.
Choosing the wrong major. Don’t stress too hard about finding a major, it’ll come with time. Students often choose a major just so they don’t come into school undecided, and it results in tons of money loss and a longer time in school. During your freshman year, even if you’re totally secure about what you want to do in your future, take a few random courses that seem interesting (but not too hard if you actually know what you want to do). These courses count as electives most of the time and often deal with incredibly interesting topics. Many undecided students have found their passions through random courses, and it helps a lot in the long run.
Having bad hygiene. Don’t ruin your freshman year by constantly being sick. Although this is a hard thing to avoid, it’s not impossible. Good hygiene can be practiced through showers (your roommate will thank you), washing your hands often, and simply taking care of yourself. By practicing good hygiene, you can avoid illnesses such as the common cold or the flu. By staying healthy, you’re able to focus on your classes and study. If you know it’s hard to stay healthy, boost your immune system by taking vitamins.
Not studying. Students often get so caught up in the fact that they have so much free time that they forget to study. Many professors are known for giving pop quizzes and calling people out in lectures. Make sure you stay on track and know what’s going on in each class.
The Freshmen Fifteen. Dun-dun-dun! Many people dread the freshmen fifteen, which is the myth that college freshmen can gain fifteen pounds in their first year. Notice how I used the word “myth.” The freshmen fifteen can easily be avoided by keeping track of yourself. Make sure you’re not eating too late at night and that you maintain a normal diet. If you’re careful enough, you might actually lose fifteen pounds rather than gain them…
Not knowing the professors beforehand. The internet is an amazing place where the world is at your fingertips. Many college sophomores recommend using ratemyprofessors.com to actually get to know the professors you’ve been assigned. This helps, as it teaches you if a certain professor is just always mean or doesn’t even care if you’re absent as long as you read the textbook. Professors come in many varying personalities, so it’s good to have some prior knowledge about them before walking into class.
Not knowing their financial limits. Many people are going to find themselves staring at their wallets with sad, sad eyes. This is because freshmen are often so captivated by the idea of independence that they spend too much time going out to eat with their friends and spending too much money. Considering today’s economy and society, students should be careful with their spending. Many of us are going to be graduating with debt, so it’s good to be conscious of how much money you’re spending. If you’re a social butterfly, make sure to have a job and a steady income and limit your spending wisely.