College is difficult. At times, you feel like you’re being stretched in a million different directions. You have to worry about your social life, studying, finding work so you can actually buy food and clothes, and more.
Be cautious in your decision making and avoid adding stress whenever possible.
Below are 5 mistakes to avoid making as a Freshman in college.
In college, you’re stretched really thin. It won’t be uncommon for work and school to take up at least 60% of your day.
When this happens, you try to eliminate the most expendable option – sleep. Sleep is invaluable and should never be omitted. While you should get at least six hours of sleep at night, most college students don’t. There will be more than a few occasions where you curse at yourself for procrastinating on an essay, which means you’ll have to pull an all-nighter to finish it.
Thankfully, rather than writing a poorly sourced essay due to being tired, you have the option to hire someone to write your essay for you.
Signing Up for Credit Cards
Financial institutions love college students.
They know that they’re desperate for cash and they’ll likely look into getting a credit card, so don’t be surprised if you receive multiple offers the second they find out you’re in college. Don’t be tempted by their low interest rates. Some even waive certain fees for college students or even give you a bonus for signing up.
Remember, credit cards aren’t free money. You’ll have to pay off every single cent that you spend, and you’ll need to pay it on time each month. If you’re already strapped for cash, signing up for a credit card would be the worst thing that you could do.
Taking Out an Excessive Amount of Student Loans
This is one of the most common mistakes that new college students make, and it’s probably why the United States has $1.2 trillion in student loan debts. Only take out what you need. Of course they’re going to offer you a subsidized loan of $20,000 – that doesn’t mean you need to take all of it out.
Figure in the cost of rent, food, clothing, and tuition, and you should be set. If you take out more than you need, there’s a good chance that you’ll be paying on your loans for the rest of your life.
Just as important, read the terms and conditions of the loan. It doesn’t matter of it’s 80 pages of tiny text, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. Educate yourself on subsidized versus unsubsidized loans, interest rates, repayment plans, and everything else. Taking out a student loan is a huge deal and you shouldn’t treat it like free money as so many people do.
Not Consulting Your Academic Advisor
When you first get to college, the first thing you should do is consult your advisor. Your advisor will direct you on the path that you need to take and advise you on the courses you should take each semester.
For some reason, many incoming freshmen don’t consult their advisor, and they’ll either take on too much at once, or they’ll take classes that they don’t need. Each department has their own advisor, so you need to consult with the school to see which advisor is right for you.
Forgetting to Research Your Instructors
One of the many benefits of college is that multiple professors teach the same course, and it’s up to you to find one that teaches the course you need at the time you like. The very first thing you should do before signing up for a class is research your professors.
Remember, you’re the one paying for school, so you should educate yourself on exactly what you’re paying for. Talk to other people who have had that professor or check out various sites that rank their professors and discuss what they teach as well as their policies. You’ll be glad that you did.
There are a ton of mistakes that incoming freshmen will make, and most of them are harmless, but these are a few of the more important ones to avoid. Though it may be tempting to take some time to yourself after your senior year, spend the summer preparing for your new life as a college student.