9 Mistakes to Avoid As a Freshman at College

So, you’re finally in college. Congratulations! This is your time to get involved in new experiences, make new friends, and learn more about yourself. 

But if you’re thinking that it’s going to be the way they show it in the movies, where you sign up for all the stuff and have a fun time for everything, you’re in for some shock! Because as amazing and incredible as college is, it can also easily become a tough time.

That’s why I’m here to give you some advice on how you can avoid those freshman year mistakes. Don’t make these mistakes!

1. Thinking Your Freshmen Year Doesn’t Count

This is a big one. A lot of freshmen think that their first year of college doesn’t really matter, because they can always improve their grades later. But that’s not true! 

Your freshmen year grades can have a big impact on your GPA, which can affect your chances of getting into grad school or getting a good job after graduation. And, to be honest, depending on your major, your first year is going to be relatively easier. So don’t slack off, instead take advantage of this! Freshmen year also has some of the easier courses – courses that take less effort to get that A! Have fun without completely forgetting your grades!

2. Sacrificing Your Grades For Your Social Life

It’s totally normal to want to have a good time in college. But it’s important to find a balance between your social life and your studies. 

If you start skipping classes or blowing off assignments to party all the time, you’re going to regret it later. Like, if you have an assignment that’s going to account for 25% of your grade and Kappa Sigma’s mixer to go to and the cute girl you have a crush on is going to be there – what do you do?

We’re going to be your mom and dad here and tell you that 25% is a LOT. Do that assignment. Or better yet, figure out a way to do that assignment earlier than the night of that mixer.

Don’t sacrifice your grades for a good time that’s not even going to matter 10 years down the line. It’s all about striking that balance. So make sure you’re still putting in the work, even when you’re having fun. 

3. Skipping Class

This is a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating. Skipping class is a surefire way to fail it. Even if you think you can learn the material on your own, it’s not worth the risk. Go to class, pay attention, and ask questions if you don’t understand something.

Step 1 to making this easier: Don’t take AM classes. Unless you’re a morning person, AM classes are hell. Not taking them is the best way to make sure you don’t end up skipping them. Figure out what time of the day works for you and manage accordingly.

And, FYI, you are paying a shit ton of money for that class to be skipping it. Think ~$4000 dollars. That’s a lot of $$$, so yeah, you better show up.

Step 2: Actually pay attention. Being in class and understanding what’s happening will keep you interested. Meaning you are more likely to show up for the next class. This is something to think about, isn’t it?

It’s definitely better than zoning out and waking up one day with 4 days worth of work to finish in 2 hours, right? For more how-to stop skipping class steps, tap here!

4. Not Asking For Help

If you’re struggling in a class, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your professors and TAs are there to help you succeed.

Use the office hours and meet that TA. Share your notes with other people and take theirs. Ask people your questions on discussion boards. Don’t be afraid to ask, yes it can feel weird at first. And, you are probably gonna feel like your questions and problems are too stupid. But that’s alright, you didn’t join college to be a know-it-all, you joined to learn (kind of) so learn! 

We understand that it can be difficult to overcome that ‘let me go and ask’ hesitation, but trust us, everyone will be more than happy to help because they’ve seen it all before. So go ahead and ask for help. 

5. Not Taking Advantage Of Your Resources

Your college has a lot of resources to help you succeed. There are tutoring centers, writing centers, and academic advising services, network groups, etc.

Figure out what you need and take advantage of it. You’re paying a lot for these services too! Take them!! For example, here are some Harvard resources you can begin with.

6. Not Getting Involved

College is a great time to get involved. Trust me, you are not going to get your college days back. The experiences you gain here are invaluable. There are so many clubs, organizations, competitions and activities to choose from. And, the biggest ones being a part of a frat or srat. 

I understand that it can be overwhelming at first. Your social battery might run out. You might feel like you’re not smart enough. But this is your future network. You see, getting involved is a great way to meet new people, make friends, and learn new things. But trust us, it’s all worth it.

Put yourself out there and give it a shot. Here’s how you can start with networking. You only go to college once, make it count!

7. Not Taking Care Of Yourself

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of college life. But it’s important to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. 

Sounds basic, right? You might be surprised how easy it is to not follow these simple things when you go to college. Your hectic schedule, learning stress and socializing will take up so much of your time that you won’t even have a moment for yourself. So it’s better to set up a healthy routine as soon as possible.

And, you know, exercising doesn’t have to be ridiculous hours at the gym. It could be you waking up and going on a 15 min walk or doing those at-home workouts. Same with food. You don’t have to be on that health influencer. Just focus on eating relatively healthy.Instead of gobbling down 3 fast-food meals a day, go ahead and exchange 2 of them with healthier options.

I know, this sounds like your mom’s advice. But it’s totally worth it. These small healthy routines you set up for yourself are going to matter a lot in the future. Here are a bunch of effective ways you can start taking care of yourself. 

8. Not Managing Your Time

College is a lot of work. It’s important to learn how to manage your time effectively. This means setting priorities, making a schedule, and sticking to it. Ever heard of time blocking? Yes, that’s going to help you get there.

Especially when you have a part-time job to run to. Or a side-hustle that you are absolutely committed to. Seek out for apps that will help you manage your time. This might seem like a hassle at first, but it’s totally worth it.

Also, in case you are looking for a part-time job, we’ve got one for you! One of the things we do here at FP is Campus Management. 

You know, one of our campus managers, Lexi, went from being a CM to working full-time at EY. Cool right? We’ve got more CM stories where they end up building a merch empire worth $100k plus within their campus. 

9. Not Having Fun

Well, we know, we just told you to prioritize classes and be serious about stuff. But college is also supposed to be fun! So don’t forget to enjoy yourself. After all, you are young, surrounded by people your age. Take advantage of that. Go on that shitty road trip, go to those pool parties, talk to the person you like. Do all of that! 

Honestly, college can’t just be all about your professional commitments. After a point you will be burnt out. So make sure to go out with your friends, party, and explore your campus. Just make sure you’re not sacrificing your grades or your health for a good time.

There is a reason why college is romanticized. It is a unique experience so make full use of your college time – get involved, learn new things, and explore your interests and enjoy. Regardless of how it goes, you are going to look back and say those were the good ol’ days. So make sure you make great memories! 

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