6 Ways to Screw Up Your 1st Year of College

Your first year in college can be a great learning experience. Being on your own and being away from home gives you the freedom to make your own decisions. I was once told that a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Here are some common mistakes that not only myself but many other college students have made and some easy ways to avoid making them yourself.

Mistake 1: Procrastination

Waiting until the last couple hours to do an assignment is never a good idea. In your haste to finish the assignment, the quality of your work significantly decreases and it eliminates your time for making corrections. Instead, why not try to do a little bit of your assignment each day or knocking it the same day you receive it. This will help to decrease stress and give you a chance to attend that weekend party without the thought of your 5 page research paper in the back of your mind.

Mistake 2: Forgetting Assignments

Staying organized of all your classes and assignments can be difficult. I was guilty of forgetting assignments my freshman year and it only led to losing out on those needed points and hurting my overall grade. Instead, keep an organizer or planner. Better yet, try syncing your Google calendar to your smart phone. My boyfriend my freshmen year swore by his gcal and I always wondered how he managed to have 2 jobs, be a member/president of several organizations, and be a full time student. I took his advice and I now use gcal. I write in each class, meeting, and assignment deadlines to make sure I am keeping on track.

Mistake 3: Pulling All-Nighters

I was in an Honors English class my freshman year and I thought it would be the death of me. I remember sitting in the Honors computer lab until 7 am typing a 12 page research paper and then going to my class at 8:30 am.. Ouch! After every all-nighter my attention, class participation, and grades suffered. I got more cons staying up all night then I did pros. Instead, make sure to schedule times during the day for class work. You could finish that lab report instead of wasting 30 minutes watching that episode of Awkward (you can always watch it online later on) or you could be studying for your exam instead of going to that party your neighbors invited you to on Zink (you will have plenty of times to attend parties in your four years, but only one chance to take that exam).

Mistake 4: Personal Time

Some freshmen will spend too much time studying and doing work for their organizations that they won’t/forget to take time for themselves.. This time could be used for working out, drawing, painting, reading, or anything that makes you happy! Instead, set aside some time at least one day a week to spend it on yourself. Taking time for yourself will help make your outlook on everything a little more positive and you will be less likely to burn out quickly. With a brighter disposition, your grades are more likely to be better and life will be improved all the way around.

Mistake 5: Class Help

Waiting to get help a couple weeks before finals in a class that they are going to fail is a common freshmen mistake.  By the end of the semester you will most likely be too far behind to catch up.  Instead, utilize tutoring services early on! As freshmen, you all get an hour a week for each class of free tutoring! As adults, we all need to realize when we need help and not be afraid to ask for it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in classes, the services are provided for your success in college.

Mistake 6: Eating too much Pizza

Almost every event you go to on campus you can see FREE FOOD advertised. Everyone loves a free meal and most will go just for the food. Unfortunately the food usually ends up being a high calorie food like pizza, hot dogs, and chips. Watch out! Eating food like this at every event will help you earn the “freshmen 15”. Instead, eat before you go to the event or choose healthy meals all day and let the pizza be your indulgence. Eating before will help to curb your cravings and you will be less likely to binge. While eating healthy throughout the day, will help to counter balance the artery clogging, cheesy goodness you want to consume!

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