First Year College Student Mistakes

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Freshman year in college is stressful. All of the new pressures often lead to unintentional bad habits. Thankfully, we can help you avoid many of these first year college student mistakes.

Don’t fall into the trap of these very common yet avoidable first-year college student mistakes. You’ll thank us for these tips later.

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first year college student mistakes

Poor Work-Life Balance

Bad time management makes life difficult in college.

College is fun but also work…a lot of work. Juggling a full class load demands several things from you:

  • Attending lectures
  • Working on assignments
  • Doing research
  • Studying for finals

Beside that struggle, many students often have to work too, in order to pay their tuition and housing fees. If you don’t work on creating a manageable schedule to stay on top of commitments, then it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

A great place to start is accounting for how many credit hours you need to take versus how many work hours are necessary to pay bills. Organize your class schedule around free time after work and vice versa. Many jobs will work with students as long as they know they’re attending college simultaneously.

Not Communicating With College Professors

You need to make the effort to establish a student-professor dialogue.

College life includes speaking with professors a lot outside of class. You probably didn’t have to do this often in high school, but the demands of college necessitate it.

All professors have posted office hours where they’re available for questions. Take full advantage of these times. Otherwise, you may not ever get to speak with them.

Remember that professors have to conduct regular research, in addition to teaching courses. They can’t make the time for every student easily, so you have to reach out to them.

Not Communicating With Roommates

Healthy roommate living is based on clearly communicating with each other.

When living with an assigned roommate, the two of you have to get used to living in close quarters with one another. If you don’t discuss your personal boundaries and general ground rules, then life can get dramatic fast.

The best thing to do is to have a long conversation where you lay out your needs and boundaries. This is a great time to discuss sleep and work schedules, general cleaning chores, rules about hosting guests, etc.

It’s easier to discuss these issues first, rather than running into a problem that necessitates a talk.

Not Attending Campus Events

Take advantage of the free food and parties on campus!

Most colleges have a wide variety of sponsored events. Common examples include:

  • Club meeting and celebrations
  • Guest speaking engagements
  • Dorm mixers
  • Holiday parties

These are great opportunities to meet new people with similar interests and have fun. One of the hardest hurdles for first-year college students is making new friends.

It’s a brand-new environment with people from everywhere. These free events give everyone a common ground through which you can meet people in a less-intimidating fashion.

Not Utilizing Campus Learning Resources

Every campus has multiple resources available to provide academic help.

Many students are unaware or simply avoid using the free tools provided by the college and staff. Common examples include:

  • Office hours
  • Peer tutoring
  • Writing centers
  • Library aides
  • Learning centers

If you’re unsure where these are found, simply go online and check out the college’s website for information. Every school is different but they all make sure to have tutoring and other available resources for students to succeed.

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