The 11 most typical mistakes made by college freshmen are covered in this guide to help students get the most out of their first year.
The learning curve for adjusting to college life can be quite steep. Homeless feelings, getting lost on campus, a fight with a roommate, or a group project partner who lacks motivation are all possibilities for first-year students.
Student life experts advise freshmen to steer clear of the eight social and academic blunders listed below as they establish their foundation.
Although students might be tempted to skip class to sleep, study, or socialize, attendance is frequently a significant factor in course grades. Students may fall behind in their coursework if they miss any classes.
This frequently leads to students scrambling to catch up on material, which might tempt them to skip class once more, starting a vicious cycle of anxiety and avoidance.
Skipping the Reading
It may feel like a parent telling you to eat your vegetables, but the advice to keep up with the required reading is actually crucial for success.
The majority of professors base their preparation of lectures on the shared, fundamental knowledge that they assume students are maintaining their reading assignments.
Living Off-Campus Right Away
For at least their first year, many colleges and universities require students to live on campus. Even if there are off-campus housing options available, experts advise staying on campus.
Avoiding Peer Interactions
Make an effort to leave your room and interact with people during the first few weeks of school because there are many campus events and activities available, according to experts. Participation is one way to do this.
Your college campus probably has a club, organization, or intramural sport related to whatever you are passionate about, whether it be theater, photography, politics, religion, or volunteer work.
Not Asking for Help
Asking for assistance can occasionally feel awkward or intimidating, whether you’re failing an exam for the first time or are confused in a class. Jose Villar, director of the University of New Mexico’s transfer and first-year orientation programs, emphasizes that communication is crucial.
Ask questions in person during office hours with your professor or teaching assistant. Consult with your academic advisor to find a better fit if you believe the course is too challenging and it is still early in the semester. A writing center and tutoring sessions are also frequently provided by colleges.
Not Creating and Keeping a Budget
Other costs besides tuition are incurred by college students. Costs for housing, food, books, and transportation are also significant.
First-year college students who lack a clear budget risk living above their means and finding themselves unable to cover their expenses. To help degree-seekers learn how to budget, schools may offer a financial literacy program.
Misuse of Credit Cards
Early credit history development for students is advised. Overspending, on the other hand, can lower credit scores and result in a debt snowball as can failing to make timely credit card payments. Consider setting up autopay to avoid making this mistake in college, and always keep some money in the bank before you go shopping.
No Emergency Fund
Financial hardships for first-year college students can result from emergencies and accidents. Budgets should allow for unforeseen expenses like last-minute car repairs or return flights. Start accumulating an emergency fund as early in high school as you can.
The peers in your program are too valuable a resource to ignore, even if you already have your hands full maintaining your existing connections. When I first started college, my biggest error was putting relationships below grades.
Not Applying for Scholarships
It would be beneficial if you tried your luck with scholarship applications. Given the high cost of college education, it would be a wise choice to assist your family and parents by exploring scholarship options. To increase your chances of winning, Sallie Mae published a guide on how to apply for scholarships.
Any scholarship you receive will give you more financial freedom. The cost of debt repayment after you graduate from college will also be lessened.
Universities, institutions, and organizations abound, and they provide a wide range of scholarships. Seize the opportunity to find out more about their eligibility requirements. Without trying, you won’t know.
Wasting Your Loan on Unnecessary Purchases
Once you have been given a private loan, you can easily spend money on many of your favorite things. Furthermore, it will disrupt both your priorities and your ability to pay for school. You will take years to repay loans, but you will only have a short amount of time to use them all.
Make sure to pay your tuition and other academic expenses with the help of your loans. You might spend it on things that are pointless and will later cause you to regret it.
Because federal loans are no longer sufficient, Lifehack.org published an article about the rise in student applications for private loans. Additionally, it discusses how this propensity might encourage students to keep applying for loans in order to support their comfortable but unnecessary lifestyles.
The Bottom Line: Common Mistakes Made by College Students
It’s important to remember that learning in college encompasses both academic and experiential learning. During their first year of college, students who experience setbacks can still regain their footing. A crucial step in this procedure is asking for assistance.