For many newcomers to the university life, Freshman year is one of the most exciting, as well as decisive, periods of their college career. Will yousurvive the barrage of first-year coursework? These are the top five mistakes of college Freshmen that could turn your “A” high school grades, into a college stint that ends in you dropping out.
You’re finally on your own and mom and dad aren’t around to set a curfew! And with the flexible scheduling availability of university courses, you might find yourself with the ability to party any night of the week. Plus, you’ve seen the movies about college fun, and you think university life is one huge party that takes breaks for classes. Trust me on this one. It’s not. You pay tuition for your classes, not for a keg in the frat house. When it gets down to it, you’re in college to study and get a degree, and after a long Monday night and a terrible hangover, you’re more likely to sleep in and skip class. It is perfectly okay to party every now and then. Just make sure you aren’t sacrificing grades in the process.
At large universities where class sizes typically number in the hundreds, student accountability regarding attendance is close to nil. In other words, so many students are packed into the auditorium-sized classrooms on campus that professors are unlikely to ever learn your name, let alone be able to tell if you are missing from class. For many students, especially Freshmen who may still be getting used to living independently, this lack of accountability can provide more than enough temptation to stay in bed. Also, several other factors such as irregular sleeping habits (late night studying), partying too much, and even the influence of a lazy roommate can cause your attendance to slip.
One of the most common mistakes that college Freshmen make during their transition to university life is accidentally overcommiting themselves to the various clubs and leadership opportunities on campus, leaving nowhere near enough time open in their schedule for homework or study. This not only hurts students academically, but it also hikes their stress levels into the stratosphere as they scramble to maintain an overloaded schedule. Don’t take on too many extra activities. Always leave enough time to make all your classes, and to complete all your work.
2. Poor Study Habits
Especially prevalent in college Freshmen moving in from low-income high schools with lackluster academic standards, having poor study skills is one of the most devastating obstacles that a new college student can contend with. Put simply, an “A” student who managed to get through his or her schoolwork with little to no study during high school will be in for a rude awakening when the first test of the year comes around. Unfortunately, some students are never able to fully adjust to the demands that a university education requires. Keeping this in mind, it is essential for students entering their first semester of college to develop and maintain good study habits if they plan to finish their Freshman year in one piece.
1. Moving Out of State
Although moving out of state for college isn’t necessarily a mistake (especially if it’s to a dream school), moving away from friends and family removes a vital support system that the student is used to having immediately available; thus, coping with the stress of a new school, environment, and routine may suddenly seem unbearable. It is important for students who are considering an out-of-state university to weigh the pros and cons of leaving home before they make the decision to start a new life elsewhere, because for some, exploring new worlds turns out to be much less glamorous when embarking on the adventure alone.
- Jared Elliott, Yahoo! Contributor Network