Avoid These Common Mistakes as a Freshman in College
By Khadejah Stegall
Khadejah is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.
This article originally appeared on ESSENCE.com for a back-to-college content partnership with TLC.
The moment you’ve been waiting for is here. No more curfews, no more doing chores for your parents or being tied down under supervision from your high school teacher. Your main priority of attending college is to get an education and graduate in four years with your desired degree. College also teaches you the beginner stage of adulting and finding yourself. Although college is fun, it’s important to avoid some common mistakes first-year students make that can set them back or take away from their college experience.
I understand that class is boring and you can hardly understand your professor’s strong accent, but missing class regularly is a big mistake. Some professors usually take attendance, and after a certain number of absences, you will receive a failing grade for the class. Yikes! It’s never good to miss class regularly because you could sabotage a good relationship with a professor that you could get a professional recommendation letter from later. You paid for the class, so don’t make the mistake of failing to go.
Being Afraid To Step Outside Of Comfort Zone
It’s easy to stay in your dorm room, watch Netflix, and hang out with the same friends you came to college with, but if you don’t step outside of your comfort zone, you will not get the full freshman experience. Your freshman year is a great chance to explore the different organizations and meet new people. You should try to explore as much as possible while taking most of your core classes before your workload picks up.
Eating Too Much Bad Food
Yes, you’ve heard of the Freshman 15, and it’s very real! You have the freedom to eat whatever you want at whatever time you desire. It’s okay to have fun and explore different food options when you first arrive at college, but eventually, you should transition into a more balanced meal. Eating better will enhance your mood and ability to focus. If you eat burgers, pizza and wings all the time, then you will feel tired and not have the energy you need or want. Try walking more instead of taking the shuttle and try to avoid skipping meals.
Going Home Too Much
Some freshmen get homesick, and that’s understandable. This may be the first time you are away from family, and you are still trying to transition. It’s OK to go home on holidays and some weekends, but try not to go home too much. There are fun activities that happen on campus all the time. Instead of going home, get together with some friends and try doing a different activity each weekend. It can be as small as attending a college event or trying out a restaurant close to campus.
Not Getting Involved
Just because you are a freshman, don’t think that you can’t get involved in anything. Joining different organizations is a fantastic way to meet new people with the same similarities. You could even run for a leadership position!
Being Afraid To Ask For Help
If you are failing a class or feeling depressed, it’s OK to ask for help! Many people fail classes in college because they were too prideful to ask for the help they needed or think that they are alone in the feelings they have. Asking for help is one of the smartest acts you can make in college.
You may have procrastinated in high school with your teacher that babied you, but you won’t get away with it in college. If you wait until the last minute to turn in your assignment, you can miss the deadline or give yourself unnecessary stress. Start projects at a reasonable time to get your work done.
Partying Too Much
Some students can’t handle all the freedom. There is nothing wrong with having a little fun but don’t make the mistake of partying every weekend and on the weekdays. You will lose out on sleep, and it can affect your grades.
Khadejah Stegall is a college mommy blogger that inspires others to achieve the impossible through the power of Jesus. She enjoys family time, eating vegan meals when it's convenient and mentoring others on professional development. To be inspired by more post, follow her blog at khadejahstegall.com