7 College Freshman Mistakes to Avoid

Your freshman year of college will be one filled with excitement, adventure, and forming new relationships. It will also be filled with academic responsibilities like completing assignments, attending class and passing exams.

This first year is a transition for you. You will be moving from a high school student to a young adult in college. You will move from a lot of supervision to very little supervision. You will be transitioning from a very structured lifestyle to one with great flexibility and freedom.

Because of these transitions, there is room for error. Freshmen around the world tend to make common mistakes that could be avoided. Mistakes are made in all areas of a student’s life, not just academically. Students make mistakes in how they socialize, take care of their health, and study.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at seven of the most common college freshman mistakes.

College Freshman Mistakes

In this article, we’re exploring several of the most common college freshman mistakes so you know what to avoid as you begin your journey through college.

– Poor sleeping habits
– Skipping class
– Not living on a budget
– Mis-using social media
– Not building a support system
– Choosing your major too early
– Not using the resources available to you

Let’s take a closer look!

1. Poor Sleeping Habits

It is completely okay for college freshmen to stay up late, binge on pizza, watch movies and hang with friends while avoiding studying. It is not okay for you to do this on a regular basis. Once a month, yes. Once a week or every day, no.

Sleep is one of the most common things college students give up that can have a negative effect on their physical and mental health.

Proper sleep for a college student means sticking with a nighttime routine, getting at least seven hours of sleep, and avoid too many interruptions while sleeping. This improves your ability to make good decisions, concentrate, have energy and build your immune system.

2. Skipping Class

You may think you can skip class and still pass with a good grade. However, most professors place a lot of weight on class participation and you can only participate if you are there in person.

Showing up for class shows your professor you care about your education, you care about learning, and you respect the rules of the course. When you attend class, your professor notices. And if at the end of the semester you have a borderline grade, your attendance could convince the professor to round up and not down.

Plus, there is always valuable information given in class, real-life examples, and even extra credit opportunities that can improve your grade.

3. Not Living on a Budget

Most college freshmen are attending school with the help of student loans. But even if you do not have loans, it is still important to follow a budget.

Budgeting and sticking to it can prevent stress associated with money. It can also help you avoid the need to pick up extra work that could interfere with your academic goals.

Loans must be paid back. While it can be tempting to take out as much financial aid as allowed, this can have damaging effects upon graduation, at which time you will be expected to start repayment. In some cases, students do not find their dream job immediately after graduating. They must take lower paying jobs first, making it hard to repay the loans.

Pay attention to your debt and finish college with as little debt as possible.

4. Misusing Social Media

Having a social media account in college is a must these days. There are many benefits to social media. Social clubs announce events, meeting other college students and participating in online groups. There is a darker side to social media, however.

As a freshman, you want to share the experiences you are having with everyone online. Just be aware that academic leaders such as resident advisors and student affairs staff are also watching your behaviors.

If you are partying and posting pictures of yourself getting drunk on campus, you could be charged with breaking the rules of the campus. You could even be asked to leave school depending on the severity of your activities.

Avoid participating in negative activities is the best way to prevent this. If you can’t, at least stay in control of what gets posted online.

5. Not Building a Support System

College freshmen quickly learn that college life is much more stressful than expected. Research shows that many college freshmen experience anxiety, depression and without learning proper coping skills, can develop negative habits to help them cope.

Building a support system when you arrive at college is one of the best ways to help you overcome the emotional ups and downs associated with all areas of college life.

A good support system includes on-campus or off-campus counselors who can teach you coping skills and strategies like stress management, how to say no to peer pressure, and time management to help with academic priorities.

Others in your support system can be sober mentors, professors, resident advisors, and your parents. Many students find that peer to peer mentoring is helpful, as it pairs students with other students who understand what they’re going through.

6. Choosing a Major Too Early

The pressure to choose a major in your freshman year can feel overwhelming at times. You just graduated high school and now you are supposed to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. You are not even finished growing yet.

Let this pressure roll off your back and know that you do not have to choose a major in your freshman year. You can take general education courses while also investigating career paths that interest you.

7. Not Using the Resources Available to You on Campus

College campuses offer services for all your needs. If you need help with academics, you can access tutoring or learning disability services. If struggling with anxiety, you can seek help through counseling services.

No matter what your issue, there is help available through the college and through agencies closely connected to the campus.

In conclusion, you don’t have to make the same mistakes other college freshmen have made. You can implement these tips and listen to the advice of others who have been there. Be open to help and get excited about this next step in your life.