I have yet to meet a single person that looks back on their freshman year of college and says “yup… I did that perfectly.” Including me. There are many things I regret about my freshman year, but these are the ones that I most regret. Check them out so you can avoid making them same mistakes I did!
- I was closed off. I’ve mentioned in previous posts the importance of the first few weeks in making friends with the people that live around you, and I absolutely failed in that respect. My roommate didn’t like having out door open, so while everyone else was chatting and hanging out, I was watching netflix alone in my room. I was the hermit of the hall, and by the time I realized it, it was too late. I can never urge the importance of being open in those first few weeks (both literally and figuratively) to new people and new experiences.
- I watched too much netflix! This is closely connected to the first one, but I spent way too much time in my room watching netflix (they were good shows, but totally not worth missing out on awesome opportunities!) Netflix is awesome, but try to limit yourself so you’re spending more time in real life than you are watching your tv. My sophomore year, I cut way back on netflix and interacted much more with my friends!
- I was afraid to interact with professors. As a freshman, I was intimidated by my professors, and I was afraid to interact with them in class and outside. I barely spoke up in class, and I didn’t ever talk to the professor one on one. It was horrible! Professors are the best resource on campus, and once I finally started speaking up in class, I created close relationships with many of them! Plus, many professors give credit for in class participation, so it’s an extra bonus!
- I didn’t volunteer! Guys, I have some bad news. All that volunteering you did during high school? It’s gone. It no longer matters. Big scholarships, grad schools, and jobs don’t care what you did in high school – so you have to start all over. Clear off your resume, and start building it up again! I didn’t volunteer at all my first semester, and it bit me in the butt when I was applying for scholarships. Now I have two regular volunteering gigs and I do random things here and there! Your school will likely have a club focused on volunteering, which is an easy way to find great places to volunteer – look for them at the activity fair during welcome week!
- I didn’t study. At least, not very well. Honestly, I was able to get A’s in high school with minimal studying, and I expected the same thing to happen when I started college. Wrong! I had no idea how to truly study for tests. Sure, I took great notes and was pretty good at remembering test questions, but I was not prepared for college tests. I was really unprepared for my Spanish minor – I had to totally re-learn how to study. The best way to avoid this problem is to start out studying harder than you think you have to for your classes, and if all goes well, then you lessen your efforts, rather than scrambling at the last minute to pull your grades up.
- I said no. For some reason, my gut reaction to people asking me things is to say no, and I have had to work to change that, because I often turn down opportunities that I did not mean to. I often said no when people asked me to dinner or to go play volleyball, claiming I needed to study. Studying in college is important, but I could have done just as well while also having fun with friends.
- I skipped class! Way more than I should have. In fact, I got B’s in two classes solely due to poor attendance. I loved being able to skip whenever I wanted and sleep instead, and so I did, because I knew I could still pass even without going. This was a huge mistake. If not for those two B’s, I would have a perfect 4.0 GPA, and instead I have had to struggle to push my gpa back up slowly. Sometimes you have to miss a class, which is why classes usually have at least one free pass. Pay close attention to each class’s attendance policy, and even write them down on a sheet of paper to keep handy, and to keep track of how many you have missed in each class. It seems great in those first few months to just sleep through your classes but you want to save those freebies for later in the semester when you feel overwhelmed or you get sick and actually need them.
Honestly, I made a lot of other mistakes my freshman year, but these 7 mistakes are common issues that you can easily avoid! If this was helpful to you, share it with your friends to they too can avoid making these mistakes their freshman year!