10 College Freshman Mistakes to Avoid
The myOptions Team
Good ole’ Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 1,000 ways that didn’t work.” There is def some value in making mistakes and learning from them, but trust us, there are some mistakes that you are better off avoiding. College is a huge learning experience, especially your freshmen year. With all of the excitement, making mistakes is inevitable but here are a few you don’t want to make:
1. Skipping class.
Ahh the freedom of “not technically” having to attend each class. Even if your professor doesn’t take attendance, don't be fooled. Attendance ALWAYS matters. If you’re having trouble mustering up the motivation to go to class, do the math. Add up the cost of your tuition and divide the sum by the number of credit hours you’re enrolled in each week. Once you determine the value of each lecture in cash, you’ll be driven to take your classes seriously and attend on the reg.
2. Opening a credit card.
Credit card companies love college students for a couple reasons. First, they assume that you have parents that will bail you out if you end up in a tremendous amount of debt. Second, you’re young, and that means many years of interest payments for the credit card companies. Credit card companies prey on college students...so if you encounter companies setting up camp at your university trying to sell you a credit card, know that they’ve paid your school a hefty amount of money to do this. Those credit card companies are thirsty AF and do not have your best interests at heart.
3. Hiding in your dorm.
College is what you make of it! Your newfound independence means that you have the sole responsibility to make college life intriguing and rewarding. Keep an open mind to make the most of your experience: attend seminars, join student organizations, and show up to on-campus events!
4. Going home every weekend.
College is a big transition, and you may feel homesick. However, if you use every weekend to travel back home, you will miss out on bonding with your peers. (Which will make getting over the initial homesickness that much harder). Allow yourself to take time and adjust to your new routine.
5. Choosing major based on how much money you will make.
Though the major you choose will not impact the EXACT career you choose after graduation, it will definitely send the path of your employment in a general direction. You should choose your direction based on the activities that bring you enthusiasm and fulfillment. As long as you are able to support yourself, it won’t matter how much money you make. All that truly matters is that you are happy.
6. Freaking out over classes.
Take a deep breath! You’re good; you’re fine. Your professors may seem intimidating the first week or two. (If it’s before the add/drop period, they may be trying to scare away students that don’t want to put in hard work). Remember, they are just classes. As you review the syllabus and calendar for future assignments, know that you are qualified to be at this school, you are prepared to do this level of academia, and even though you may be doubting yourself, you are going to kill it.
7. Buying stuff without your student discount.
All you have to do is flash your student ID, and TA-DA! Discounts, galore! You may as well inquire about student discounts with every business you encounter. Even if it’s not offered, whether it be a clothing store or an ice cream parlor, you may be lucky enough to land a pity discount.
8. Thinking anyone will care about what you did in high school.
Don’t be that guy (or girl)... College is a fresh start for everyone! It doesn’t matter the clique you belonged to in high school; people are going to know you for who you are right now.
9. Believing everyone will be your new best friend.
It’s likely that you grew up in high school knowing people for years, as early as junior high or even elementary school. When you start fresh, it’s like being in kindergarten again. Through some trial and error, you will finnd your squad. Just give it some time. When you initially enter college, everyone is quick to make friends, and while that’s great in the moment, you may find out later that people aren’t who you expected. Remember, you don’t HAVE to be friends with anyone. Being in college means that there are always opportunities for meeting new people.
10. Posting party pics on social media.
You can take photos at parties; just don’t share them with the world. As you already know, the internet is permanent. By publicizing your college antics, you are adding it to your virtual resume that can be accessed by everyone, including future employers. Save the ridiculous photos and videos for your friends, and you will thank us later.
At myOptions, we aspire to live by the saying, “be who you needed when you were younger.” We wish our younger selves had someone warning us against these mistakes before we made them… so do us a favor and take our advice and be sure to pass it on to the generation of freshmen that come after you.