By Fre’Dasia Daniels, University of North Texas ‘20
Freshman year is a series of huge changes after high school. Here’s what not to do during your first year of college:
1. Not studying until the night before an exam
I don’t know how many times you’ll hear this before you understand it; college is not high school. You can’t expect to ace a test if you didn’t study for it. So that five minute study session before a test isn’t going to cut it.Studying is a must. Figure out your study routine, and stick with it.
2. Getting caught up in a relationship
Don’t think that entering college means that a switch has been flipped and everyone has magically matured and become what you’ve always wanted them to be. A lot of people are out to make memories, not to build relationships, (especially in freshman year), so don’t be fooled by any sweet talk. Your best bet is to focus on making new friends and getting good grades, and to only pursue a relationship if you feel a real, genuine connection.
3. Posting THAT picture
Seriously, be careful of what goes on the internet. Everything’s fun and games until you get rejected from a job because someone tagged you in a picture of you doing a keg stand and body shots. That stuff lasts forever, so adjust those privacy settings, just in case.
4. Going to a party instead of studying for a test
There will always be another party. You have four years to experience the party life, but you only have one GPA. So pick your nights out wisely.
5. Studying instead of going to that party
On the flip side, while your GPA is a very, very, very important part of college, so is socializing and meeting new people. Let loose every once in awhile. Let go of some stress and just have fun, just don’t forget about your schoolwork.
6. Not checking out all of the clubs that seem interesting
Get involved! Check out all of the extracurricular clubs that you find interesting. You don’t have to commit to every club you look into, just get out and see what they’re all about. You’re sure to find a club or two that interests you.
7. Not dropping that class that will ruin your GPA
If you have a serious gut feeling that a class will make your life a living hell, drop the class. If the professor tells you that there will be no quizzes or homework and only three tests, and you KNOW in your heart, that this subject is the bane of your existence: DROP THE CLASS.
If you figure it out early enough, you can replace it with another class. Just make sure that you have enough credits to still be considered full-time (if you’re a full-time student) and let it go.
8. Forcing friendship
You are in no way obligated to be best friends with your roommate or suite mates. Although it is preferred to have a good relationship with your roommates, it’s not required. Don’t force something that isn’t there. You only have to room with this person for one year, not the rest of your life, so if you don’t click, it’s all good. But please be civil.
9. Spending every penny you have
Don’t spend all of your money on food or clothes or alcohol. Since you’re an adult and everything, you should set up this thing called a savings account. Seriously, make sure you have money set aside for emergencies - you never know when you’ll need it.
10. Not checking your school email
Most advisors and professors will only email your school email, not your personal one. And trust me, you’re going to need all of the info they send out. Make sure you stay on top of checking your email every day.
11. Not being active
As in physically active. As in don’t sit around eating junk food all day, go to the rec center every now and again. You’re already paying for it, so you might as well use it. The Freshman15 is not a myth.
12. Paying full price for books
Do not buy your books before the first day of class! And for heaven’s sake, don’t buy your books from your school bookstore. You can usually find them online much cheaper, or buy them from past students who are selling them.
13. Treating office hours like the plague
Professors want to help you. Go to their office hours and make an effort to get to know them. Not only will it help your grades in the long run, but if you ever need a recommendation letter, they’re more likely to write one for you if they know your name.