We are often advised about things we should do when we start college, but what about the things we shouldn’t do? Steer clear of these nine things as you start school this semester:
1. Feel pressure to declare a major
Even students who’ve decided what they want to study when they start college often end up changing their minds, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to declare a major during your first semester (or even the first few!). Take the time to take different classes, join new clubs, and figure out what areas of study you enjoy.
2. Skip class
It’s very tempting to skip class in college, especially the first semester. You have so much newfound freedom, and many classes won’t have an attendance policy. It is extremely important to go to class. You miss more than you think, trust me.
3. Get tied down in a relationship right away
With so many new changes in your life, don’t feel the pressure to jump into a relationship right away. Freshmen year is about exploring your freedom, finding new interests, and meeting tons of new people. Just enjoy it, and don’t worry about finding a boyfriend or girlfriend immediately.
4. Overdo it on the alcohol consumption
Enough said. It’s not cute. (And neither is the nasty hangover the next day.)
5. Forget to call your parents
Your parents will probably be worrying about you the majority of the time. You’ll be so busy that you may unintentionally neglect some of your loved ones. Don’t forget to pick up the phone once or twice a week!
6. Be afraid to ask questions
Whether it’s about your classes, where the cafeteria is, or how to change your tire, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Reality is, nobody knows what they’re doing, and everyone is as scared as you are.
7. Experiment with drugs
This may seem like obvious advice, but every year there’s someone who gets seriously hurt or killed from drug use. Not only are they illegal, but you don’t know how your body or brain will react. There will definitely be a lot of peer pressure, but it’s on you to make the right decision!
8. Trust everyone right away
The majority of people you interact with will be good people. However, there will be others who are not. It’s easy to agree to catch a ride home with someone after a party or at the bar. You must remember that some people will view you as naïve, and try to take advantage of you. Be cautious and smart.
9. Isolate yourself
It can be really scary to go out and meet with new people. However, you need to put yourself out there and try new things! That’s what college is for. Go join a club or invite your hall-mate to dinner. This is the ideal time where everyone is trying to make friends. Later on in life, as you get older, you may be surprised at how difficult it is to make new friends. Now is the time!
Your years in college are truly the best time of your life. Be safe, have lots of fun, and work hard!