Common Mistakes First-Year College Students Make

Common Mistakes First-Year College Students Make

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  • Going to college is one of the most exciting yet scary ventures anyone will do in their life.

    Nevertheless, many students can fall into a trap that develops some bad habits.

    Knowing the common mistakes first-year college students make lets you know what to avoid.

    Enrolling in Too Many Classes

    High school credit hours are not of the same breed as college credit hours. While everyone’s high school schedule varies, odds are most people took six to eight classes during the week. Hence, taking six classes a week in college feels like an easy task. It’s much easier to manage your time to study for high school courses compared to higher education. Don’t overextend yourself too early and set yourself up for success.

    Making a Habit of Skipping Classes

    One of the most significant gifts and curses about your college is the ability to miss classes with minimal repercussions. If you skip a high school class, you might face a suspension, and your parents might receive a phone call.

    However, if you miss a college class, it remains somewhat anonymous, and no one will know. Although that extra sleep might feel nice at the time, getting into the habit of missing multiple classes puts you behind. Certain professors might have stringent attendance policies that can severely hurt your grade.

    Getting a Severe Lack of Sleep

    Having no one at home telling you it’s bedtime requires an adjustment. Also, if your first class is at 9:00 a.m. on Monday and 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, it’s hard to get yourself into a routine. Most college students admit that they don’t get the proper amount of sleep throughout the week, leading to several mental and physical health issues. The lack of sleep will likely result in lower GPAs, skipping more classes, poor mental health, and potential weight gain.


    One of the easiest mistakes newcomers can make is procrastination, which may include an all-nighter to cram six weeks of material into six hours of studying. This hardly ever works. Instead, go to class, take all the important notes that your professor verbally says instead of what’s on the slides, and stay attentive. Also, ensure you keep your notebooks so that you can study later. The series you are streaming will still be there after your exams, so try not to get sucked into things that will take you away from your studies.

    Feeling Overwhelmed

    Sometimes, struggling feels like you are on a deserted island. If you fall behind, it’s tempting to throw the books aside and curl up in your bed. However, being a student at a university allows you several resources you may not know. For example, mental health centers and counselors are free of charge to help you manage your stress. Furthermore, most professors are understanding and will help you if you need assistance.

    If you avoid these common mistakes first-year college students make, you will be on the right track to achieve your academic goals.

    Image Credit: Adobe Stock

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