Do you want to be successful in college? Make great college friends and have the best college experience? Well, find out what not to do during freshman year!
During Freshman Year
Starting a new school year with many hopes, wishes, and dreams for the future is common for most freshmen.
However, all these hopes, wishes, and dreams can disappear in a matter of seconds if a freshman is confronted by a few situations listed below.
I was by no means “the perfect college student” not by a long shot! In fact, I have done my share of mistakes. Therefore, I can personally relate to a few situations listed below.
So, yes I have been there and literally done that for a few of these “college don’ts”. Fortunately, I didn’t give up.
Instead, I got out of my own way, learned from these mistakes, and focused on graduating within my schedule above all else.
However, all things considered, the distractions on campus didn’t make achieving this goal easy.
Therefore, I encourage you to read this post with an open mind, especially if you are new to college life. You may come across a few “college don’ts” you probably didn’t consider until now. If you are just starting college congrats and all the best!
What Not To Do During Freshman Year
- Bringing things you don’t need
- Overspending instead of saving
- Overpaying instead of saving
- Not applying for any scholarships
- Not creating a student budget tracker
- Applying for every credit card offer you received
- Skipping classes just because you can
- Making assumptions
- Registering for classes blindly
- Following the wrong crowd
- Doing anything for “Clout”
- Ignoring your parents
- Getting into a relationship because it’s trendy
- Having unprotected sex
- Partying way too much
- Waking up late for classes
- Not creating and/or following a morning routine and night routine in college
- Being disrespectful
- Being complacent
- Being a people-pleaser
- Enrolling in the wrong classes
- Being an opportunist
- Not planning your first year
- Procrastinating on schoolwork
- Not exercising
- Giving up too early
- Not seeking help when you need to
- Ignoring your resume until your senior year
- Start drama with your college roommate
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Bringing things you don’t need
Bringing things you don’t need to college gets in your way plus cost you money in the long run and in the short run. In this post, I talk about a few items you should consider not bringing to college.
What to consider doing instead: Consider spending money on things you absolutely need for college. For instance;
- First of all your tuition paid
- Room and board paid unless you plan on commuting
- A good laptop
- A reliable prepaid cellphone
- Textbooks. However, if you can purchase the international versions or better yet previous editions you will save a lot of money but ask your professors first
- Some writing materials for classes and studying
- At least two sets of bedding just in case something happens and you need to change the bed set immediately
- A standard pillow
- Mattress cover and pad
- Bathroom and bedroom slippers
- At least two sets of bath towel
- Some basic toiletries
- Some basic clothes for classes
- Comfortable walking shoes for speed walking from class to class
- A suit and a pair of 3inch pumps for ladies and oxfords for guys for college fairs
Later on, after adjusting to college life you may consider purchasing a few items based on necessity.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Overspending instead of saving
It’s only natural you would want to make your dorm room as comfortable and welcoming as possible. However, overspending on dorm room items is not necessary in order to flourish in college. You can just purchase the basic and still get by.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Overspending
Save above all else. If it isn’t necessary don’t break the bank to get it.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Overpaying instead of using discounts
Some items are necessary for college. In fact, without these items, the grades can dramatically be affected example textbooks. However, that doesn’t mean you should overpay.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Overpaying
Search for student discounts before buying anything college-related to avoid overpaying for college items. If you don’t have a Rakuten account you should definitely change that.
Rakuten offers cashback opportunities on purchases from various websites. While the cashback you may receive may be low as 1%, 1% cashback is definitely better than paying the full price for your purchases. To date, I have received a cashback total of $153.65 – overall not bad.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Not applying for any scholarships
Overall, applying for scholarships is time-consuming there’s no doubt about it. However, it does present an opportunity to possibly win money for college while you practice your writing, market yourself, improve your organization skills, and so on.
Therefore, even if applying for the scholarship is time-consuming the short-term and long-term benefits outweigh the hassle. So don’t shy away from applying.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Not Applying for Any Scholarships
While applying for scholarships can be a hassle if you are organized it’s manageable. Use a scholarship tracker printable to keep you on track. After all, graduating from college debt-free is a major goal.
Overall, you don’t have to apply for every scholarship. However, applying to a few you are most eligible for is better than applying to none. So give yourself a chance of paying less for college out of pocket by applying for a few scholarships.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Not creating a student budget tracker
The truth is college is expensive. In fact, being in college doesn’t only rob you of your time in most cases it puts you in massive debt.
Therefore, staying on top of your financial situation in college is a must especially if you are funding your college degree with student loans.
In general, the difference between graduating from college with massive college debt or graduating with no debt, or significantly less debt is directly related to how well students and parents manage college funds.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Not Creating A student Budget Tracker
Therefore pay particular attention to your cash flow situation by creating and tracking your budget.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Applying for every credit card offer you receive
During your college years, you need to be very careful about the types of debts you are incurring and how much these debts will cost you. One of the types of debt you should try to avoid during your college is credit card debt.
While it is important to build credit you want to avoid incurring huge credit card debt in college especially if you don’t have a stable job in college to pay the debt off.
Therefore, avoid applying for every credit card offer you receive. Unfortunately, some credit card companies prey on college students. Thus, don’t be surprised if you received countless credit card offers during your college life.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Applying For Every Credit Card Offer You Receive
If you are concerned about building credit, then consider other ways to build credit or consider applying for a secured credit card only if you can pay your credit bill every month on time.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Skipping classes just because you can
You are living on your own so you make the rules. Therefore, no one is going to harass you if you don’t go to class, and depending on how big the classroom is your classmates are not even going to realize you’ve been missing classes.
One thing that’s for certain the more you dislike a class or the instructor the greater the temptation to skip class.
Therefore, avoid skipping classes just because you can, because once you start skipping classes it will become very difficult for you to quit this bad habit.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Skipping Classes Just Because You Can
If you don’t like a class at the beginning of the semester consider dropping the class and retaking later.
However, this is only ideal if this class isn’t a prerequisite for other classes.
While you can still drop the class, either way, please realize this could set your graduation date back up to one year especially if this class is only offered once a year.
Plus, the best strategy is dropping that class and then replacing that class with another class, but this has to be done during the first one of two weeks of class after it becomes very difficult to drop.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Making assumptions
Making assumptions can hinder your performance in college and life as a whole. Therefore, avoid making assumptions regarding college relationships, college safety, passing college classes, college professors, and so on.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Making Assumptions
Do proper research and ask questions. For instance:
- Don’t assume passing a class will be easy because chances are it probably won’t be.
- Just because your college Professors are nice don’t assume you will automatically get an extension on your paper if you missed the deadline.
- Don’t assume your nice roommate is automatically your friend – they might just be respectful and friendly.
Overall, it’s better to ask questions and get a direct answer from the primary source instead of assuming and as a result failing to adequately prepare or being caught off guard.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Registering for classes blindly
The week before college starts is hectic. Many things to get done include moving into your dorm room, cleaning, decorating your room, maybe doing a little extra shopping, paying for college tuition, room, and board, and of course, registering for classes.
In regards to registering for classes, deciding which classes to register for first is vital. Therefore always ensure you are registering for the classes that contribute credits to your degree.
Also, ensure you are registering for classes you actually have all the prerequisites for. In fact, you certainly, don’t want to register for classes that require you to have a certain background and you don’t.
All things considered, in most cases registering for classes you aren’t prepared for is academic sabotage because these classes become extremely difficult to keep up with.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Registering For Classes Blindly
If you are unsure of which classes to register for speak to an academic adviser. They will be happy to help you set up a graduation plan that will help you complete your degree.
This graduation plan usually focuses on recommending the best semester to complete each class.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Following the wrong crowd
Making friends in college is cool and all but following the wrong crowd just to become popular isn’t a good idea. In fact, it’s just not worth it. You can make lifelong friends without trying to fit in with the wrong crowd.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Following The Wrong Crowd
Focus on your studies and join a couple of groups and you will find your people.
Furthermore, don’t worry about being popular – you don’t have to be popular to make a positive impact in your community. Instead, you just have to do the right things at the right time.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Doing anything for “Clout”
Nowadays doing anything for “clout” is common among millennials. Some risk it all just to become known on the internet even if it’s just for a few hours or in some cases minutes.
Overall, becoming an internet sensation is more important to some than anything else especially nowadays when some influencers earn a living online just by being known.
Over the years, students have lost opportunities because of what they posted on various social media accounts. Don’t be that student who loses it all just for a few likes and attention on the internet. Therefore, during your first year in college avoid doing anything for “clout”.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Doing Anything For “Clout”
What To Consider Doing Instead: Don’t get distracted by all the glitz and glam. Instead, focus on getting the best college education and experience you can get.
Furthermore, be grateful for this opportunity because many people who want to go to college don’t get that opportunity you have.
Therefore, don’t take this opportunity for granted – make the best out of it so you can maximax your return.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Ignoring your parents until you need them
College can get hectic. For instance, projects to complete, assignments due, mid-term exams to study for, group meetings to attend, laundry to complete, and so on.
However, even with all these responsibilities, there is still no reason not to call your parents. While you may not call them every day at least once a week is doable. Definitely, don’t wait until you need them to call them – it’s not a good look.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Ignoring Your Parents Until You Need Them
If you have a hard time remembering calling your parents then schedule your calls using a planner or journal to help you stay on top of things.
Overall, it will make your life easier and your parents will definitely appreciate your calls.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Getting into a serious relationship because it’s trendy
Relationships are not always easier. In fact, they can be extremely difficult in some cases. However, with love, patience, commitment, and kindness couples make it work.
So, should you get into a serious relationship in college in your freshman year? It depends. Serious relationships at college can work but unfortunately, most don’t.
Therefore, if you are considering getting into a serious relationship in college make sure it’s for the right reasons.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Getting Into A Serious Relationship Because It’s Trendy
Focus on getting to know yourself. Thus, don’t be too in a hurry to start a serious relationship especially during your freshman year. Instead, take things slow and have some good smart college life fun.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Having unprotected sex
This one here should be obvious but adding it to this list won’t hurt. So, yes, having unprotected sex in college, during your freshman year is just a bad idea.
In fact, having protected sex, in most situations, is a bad idea especially considering you are at risk of STIs and unwanted pregnancy.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Having Unprotected Sex
Practice abstinence or use condoms.
Overall considering the risk involved and the college investment you have made, it’s beneficial to avoid unprotected sexual encounters especially with people you barely know during your freshman year and in life in general.
Instead, take your time there’s no reason to rush, but if you do rush protect yourself.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Partying way too much
Party too much in college is a real temptation and many college freshmen succumb to temptation.
While there isn’t anything wrong with attending college parties things can get really crazy really quickly if attending college parties take priority over completing assignments.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Party Way Too Much
Definitely attend a few college parties but never sacrifice your grades and well-being for college parties – it’s just not worth it.
If you really want to attend an event but you have assignments due the following day then complete your assignments days in advance so you don’t have to worry about them.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Waking up late for classes
The early bird catches the worm, right? Well in college, the early bird doesn’t miss pop quizzes given at the beginning of class, and the lecture room is accessible to the early bird!
You may be wondering, what’s with the early bird, mumbo-jumbo! Well, in college professors, in general, don’t necessarily favor students who constantly arrive late for classes.
Therefore, some retaliate by locking the lecture room doors at the beginning of class and/or giving students random pop quizzes at the beginning of class.
Now while, missing a class or two may not significantly impact your grade, especially if you do your due diligence by getting class notes and class announcements from students in attendance, missing a class or two when pop quizzes were given is a totally different situation.
This could cause even the most promising college students to fail a class or receive a lower grade for a course they would have likely aced if they didn’t miss random pop quizzes at the beginning of class.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Waking Up Late For Class
Waking up late for classes can cost you your grade. Therefore, first, be self-aware and honest with yourself when you select classes. For, instant if you know waking up at 7 am is a challenge for you then don’t select a college class that starts at 7 am.
However, if that’s your situation only select that 7 am class if:
- This is your last semester and there are no other class sections scheduled later during the day.
- The class is a prerequisite for a course you are required to take for your degree program.
So, basically, you should only select that class if you don’t have a choice or heck you want to turn a new leaf or challenge yourself, other than that, don’t kid yourself – leave the 7 am class alone.
So if you don’t have a choice, then what?
Well if you don’t have a choice, then it’s time to start setting multiple alarms in your room and in other rooms to help you get up on time for class.
For example, if your class is at 7 am and you need an hour to get ready and actually get to class on time, then set up your first alarm at 5 am, then a second one at 5:10 am, and then a really loud annoying alarm walking distance from your bed at 5:15 am.
If alarms alone don’t work, go to bed early for an earlier rise.
Now if alarms and going to bed earlier don’t work. Then consider creating and adopting a night and morning routine to help you manage your time better.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Not Creating and/or Following A Morning Routine and Night Routine in College
A planned daily routine keeps your focus and helps get rid of distractions that prevent you from achieving your college goals.
Therefore, if beginning a successful college student is your goal start by creating a daily routine for college.
Your morning routine and night routine don’t need to be glamorous. In fact, it just needs to be good enough to help keep you complete tasks like assignments on time.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Not Creating and Following A Morning Routine and/or Night Routine in College
Create a daily routine for college and adjust as the need arises. Here are a few activities you can add to your college morning routine and your college night routine:
For your morning routine consider:
- Cleaning your body by taking a showing, brushing your teeth, etc. because when you smell good it helps you feel good.
- Hydrating your body by drinking water to help flush out toxins and energize your body.
- Exercising for a short time helps keep “freshman twenty” at bay.
- Starting planning for the day ahead by journaling to help you stay on top of things.
- Checking your email before class has its benefits. For instance, your scheduled class might have just been canceled – lucky you.
- Meditating especially if your first class is challenging or your professor is extremely difficult.
- Working on your creative side business or creative business idea. Your creative business idea doesn’t have to be big but having one is helpful especially if it creates value and helps you grow personally.
- Go through your notes for classes you have scheduled just in case you have a random pop quiz.
- Tidying up your room by making your bed and decluttering if need be.
- Listening to music or your favorite podcast helps stimulate the mind.
For your night routine consider:
- Packing your school bag with items needed for the classes on your schedule for the next day.
- Selecting your attire for the day. This will save you a lot of time in the morning especially if you’re indecisive.
- Prepping your meals. Meal prepping helps lower the risk of eating unhealthy foods during the day.
- Printing assignments due for the next day. This can help keep your stress level low because you feel ready for class. Plus, it minimizes the chances of arriving to class late because you were held up trying to print an assignment last minute – been there.
- Reviewing notes, studying, and completing assignments helps keep your grades up.
- Relaxing. After a hard day, take a break to rejuvenate. Maybe for you, that means listening t music or watching a movie on Netflix.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Being disrespectful
“Respect is earned and not given” however that’s not necessarily the case. So what do you do when respect is not reciprocated? Do you stay calm and retain your dignity or do you reciprocate in a disrespectful manner?
In life, if you’re not the victim you are usually the one attacking. So, if you the attacker – the one who is just disrespectful without cause?
Well overall, being disrespectful in college or in life, in general, isn’t where it’s at, isn’t a boss move, isn’t “cute”, isn’t a winning move, isn’t “playa” and in general, definitely won’t make you look like the smartest person in the room.
Actually, if anything, you may come across as someone who wasn’t raised right and clearly out of their element.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Being Disrespectful in College
In life, certain situations may frustrate you, however, before you react always remember there are better ways to handle situations other than being disrespectful even if you’re the victim.
In fact, even if you’re the victim, the manner in which you specifically choose to react may cause others to view you as the attacker rather than the victim.
Therefore before reacting to a situation always think about the possible consequences of your actions, because in general, being cool, calm, collected, and respectful will help you cross more bridges and build more real relationships throughout your life.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Being complacent
Since you made it to college, it’s now time to relax a bit and go with the flow. Why not, after all this hard work to get accepted it’s time to laze around a bit – you deserve a break.
Plus, you are now an independent adult living on your own terms. So you make the rules now. For instance, no curfew!
College definitely allows gives you more freedom and space need for self-development. However, with all that, freedom comes responsibilities, and being complacent can dramatically hinder how effective you are at getting things done and generally being accountable for your own life.
Therefore during freshman year, to afford to be complacent challenge yourself!
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Being Complacent
Start with the little things like waking up on time for your classes, creating and using a study schedule to help you perform better during assessments.
Then once you are comfortable with your daily college routine it’s time to level up by finding a job. If you can’t find a job that fits into your daily college routine consider creating one.
Some students blog, some vlog, some sell their creations on Etsy, some students dropship on eBay, some resell on Amazon, some answer surveys in their spare time.
Point is, be creative don’t just do the minimum like attend classes then laze around, after all, you are in college.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Being a people-pleaser
Wanting to be liked by others is normal. However, trying to please everyone in order to be liked is a dangerous path you want to avoid especially during your freshman year.
While being a people-pleaser will gain you some friends, in the beginning, it will be had to distinguish between people who really like you for you or the people who only hang out with you because it’s easy for them to get their way.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Being A People Pleaser
Definitely don’t be mean and selfish – you probably won’t make friends that way. Instead, be respectful of others but also remember to set your personal boundaries.
While setting personal boundaries may result in you having few friends at least it will be way easier to tell your real friends apart from your associates.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Enrolling In The Wrong Classes
Enrolling in the wrong classes can set you back big time in college! No joke. In fact, if for whatever reason you want to spend an extra semester or two in college just enrolled in the wrong classes during your Freshman year and your wish will be granted.
Therefore if you are serious about graduating on time be 100% sure of all the classes you need to complete in order to be awarded the degree. Overall, enrolling in the wrong classes in college will cost you time and a lot of money.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Enrolling In The Wrong Classes
If you are unsure of the class you need to enroll in for your degree program immediately seek help from an academic advisor from your department.
I am certain your academic advisor will know exactly which classes you need to complete and when they need to be completed in order to graduate on time.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Being an opportunist
Taking advantage of opportunities in college is given. However, using people along the way to get those opportunities without giving anything in return or without giving any thoughts about how your actions can negatively impact others is a quick way to be labeled as an opportunist.
While you should definitely seize every opportunity to improve things for yourself in college avoid sacrificing your ethics or morals in doing so.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Being An Opportunist
Be resourceful, give as much as you take, and protect your personal brand by not sacrificing your ethics or morals.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Procrastinating on schoolwork
Procrastinating hinders productivity in college and it’s easily one of the main reasons for attaining failing grades or average grades in college. If your intention is to achieve the best grades in college then avoid procrastinating on schoolwork.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Procrastinating On Schoolwork
Instead of procrastinating on schoolwork start working on all your assignments immediately – don’t wait until the night before the assignment is due.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Not exercising
Freshman 20 isn’t a myth – it’s real. You definitely don’t want to wait until you’ve gained weight and busy with class assignments to start creating an exercise routine and schedule.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Not Exercising
Create an exercise routine and schedule from the beginning of your freshman year and use it. Your exercise routine does not have to be complicated. In fact, it just needs to be an exercise routine you enjoy doing. You can also adjust the routine later on if need be.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Not planning your first year
With so much freedom to shape your future, it is so easy to get distracted and not to plan your first year in college.
Some college students get so caught up in the non-productive side of college life they lose focus on their primary objectives especially if there no one or any reminders to hold them accountable.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Not Planning Your First Year
Start the first year in college with a solid plan and monitor your progress regularly. The plan may be adjusted along the way. However, it’s better to adjust the plan than to have no plan at all.
One of the best ways to plan for your first year is to use a journal or planner to record all your thoughts and plans in one place. Plus, it helps keep you accountable especially if you don’t have someone in your life who will. Further monitor and tracking your progress becomes fairly easy so you know the areas you need to improve.
What Not To Do During Your First Year In College: Giving up too early
Your first year in college can be intimating because you are embarking on a new journey with uncertainties so the temptation to give up too early when things are difficult is attractive.
However, be certain college life gets better. In fact, after settling down and adjusting to college life your college journey gets easier.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Giving Up Too Early
So don’t give up too early – keep at it. While the first couple of days may be challenging just continue focusing on your college goals by being present and proactive to ensure your success.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Not seeking help when you need to
Sometimes during difficult situations instead of seeking help from others, we try to do it alone. Now while being resourceful and solving issues independently is admirable there are certain situations where seeking help is more effective and efficient.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Not Seeking Help When You Need To
Therefore don’t be shy or ashame to ask for help when you need to – there’s no shame in seeking help especially when you really need to.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Ignoring Your Resume Until Your Senior College Year
College life is – busy life, so unless a matter is pressing it usually gets ignored. I mean there are classes one must attend to maintain the “rat race GPA”, group meetings to develop and improve people and leadership skills, plus laundry must be done since mom isn’t around to help and the list goes on.
So yeah ignoring your resume until your senior college year isn’t farfetched especially if you consider how hectic college life can become especially if you’re a low-budget student with limited funds at your disposal.
While being a busy college student isn’t really a compelling reason to ignore your resume until your senior college year, it wouldn’t be fair to completely ignore the fact that, classes and everything else that makes up college life can negatively affect the amount of time left for what really matters.
For instance, the valuable time needed to polish your resume so you don’t have to lie on your resume or stretch the truth in order to get a job offer.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Ignoring Your Resume Until Your Senior Year
Start each semester with a plan to improve your resume, not just a plan for maintaining or improving your GPA, and be serious about it.
So grab your academic planner or academic journal to create your master plan by adding specific steps and details that will help you improve various sections of your resume based on the job you are planning to apply for during your college senior year.
For instance, your dream job requires three years of experience but base on your resume you on have one year of experience.
Therefore, in order to improve your chances of getting that job offer finding a part-time job or internship may dramatically improve your resume. Thus, making you a stronger job candidate for the job position of your dream.
What Not To Do During Freshman Year: Starting Petty Drama With Your College Roommate
Listen! If you want to have a wack semester start some petty useless drama with your college roommate or be an inconsiderate asshole and your wish will be granted.
What To Consider Doing Instead Of Starting Petty Drama With Your College Roommate
While roommate drama in college is a dime a dozen there is one sure way you can be cordial to your roommate and be drama-free even if you don’t partially like them. Yes, it exists and it’s called respect!
If both you and your roommate respect each other, then you will have a drama-free semester even if y’all are not friends.
Next read: How To Make Great College Friends In College