As a freshman, your first college experience is meant to be exciting, and it is! There are all kinds of activities and people you are eagerly waiting to learn more about. However, it’s easy to lose sight of why you’re there in the first place. The boys, girls, parties, organizations, and the works can quickly become the most important thing your first semester. If you want to make sure you have a successful first semester, here are some things you might want to avoid.
1. Skipping class a bunch
One of the worst things you can do that will quickly turn your possible A into a definite F is skip classes a lot. Don’t believe the myth that college professors don’t take attendance, because they do, and too many absences can and will hurt your final grade.
2. Schedule your classes too early or too late
If you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule 8 a.m. classes. If you’re the type of person who likes to be done with everything by midafternoon, don’t schedule late afternoon or evening classes. I say this because it will be hard for you to commit to your school schedule, which will result in you skipping class and hurting your grade.
Procrastination is popular amongst college students. You keep telling yourself you will study for the final tomorrow, and then tomorrow turns into the day before in the blink of an eye. Try to knock out all assignments and the majority of studying well before the due dates. This will put less stress on you and will also keep you from having to turn in anything late or not being prepared for an exam. Some professors don’t except late work, so make sure to get everything completed on time.
4. Pay no visits to your advisor
Academic advisors are great assets to college campuses. They can help keep you on track, and if you see them regularly, maybe twice a month, you can avoid any unwelcomed surprises at the end of the semester.
5. Get involved in too much too quickly
So, you want to join a sorority, the young female scientists club, volunteer with student affairs, and run for student president, but when will you have time for your studies? It is important to be involved on campus, but I highly recommend getting a feel for the campus and making sure you can handle the coursework before committing to a bunch of different organizations.
6. Splurging on a one or two-person suite
If you for sure have the funds, go for it. If you can’t really afford to live in a more expensive dorm on campus, don’t do it. College is expensive to start with, and it is important to make sure you can graduate with as little debt as possible.
7. Spend money you don’t have
Again, college is expensive. Shopping every weekend really isn’t necessary and should be avoided to make sure you can save money in case of an emergency.
8. Party every week
It’ll be tempting to go with your friends to every party you’re invited to. A party is okay every now and then, but overdoing it could slowly start to impact your academics in a negative way. If you are someone who likes to go out, make sure your classes are your priority and that you get all your work and studying done first. Academic probation and suspension is a real thing and it isn’t fun going through those. Do what you can to stay on top of your studies.
9. Fall for the attention of upperclassmen
You will meet and see many attractive guys and girls on campus. It is important for young women and men to be aware of their surroundings at all times. There will be guys who approach you and they will sweet talk you and make you feel special, but they don’t all have good intentions. Just be aware and smart with your decisions.
10. Ignore your old friends for your new ones
You will make new friends, some you might think are cooler than the friends you’ve had for years, but don’t ignore your old friends for your new ones. Not all friendships last forever, but if for whatever reason you have to choose between your new group of friends who you just met and your best friend for seven years, choose your best friend.
11. Isolate yourself
The last thing you want to do is hide from the world and live every day as a loner. It becomes depressing and hard to handle when you go through your days alone without having someone to talk to. Making friends isn’t easy, but put yourself out there and see what happens!
12. Compare yourself to everyone around you
Everyone is different, and that’s okay. Comparing yourself to others will only make you depressed and unhappy with who you are. If you ever start feeling down about who you are, think of the things in your life that you’re proud of, what makes you happy, and remember, there will always be someone jealous of something you have.
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