The freshman year of college can be just as scary as it can be exciting. Students from different backgrounds arrive in a college with great expectations. The college dorm becomes the students’ home for four years (unless he or she decides to rent an apartment which, usually, does not occur in the freshman year). They have to know the rules, regulations and also must have knowledge of what to do in different circumstances.
However, students are often deprived of the ‘don’ts’ section in the freshman year. These ‘don’ts’ are as important as the ‘dos.’ This article tells freshman year students about 16 things that they should avoid in their first year in college –
1. Skip orientation
If you think that your high school senior year orientation was dull and lifeless because you already knew everything about your school, do not think on similar lines for your college freshman year orientation. This orientation is your only hope to know what you will be doing regularly for three to four years.
Most importantly, this orientation informs you of the whereabouts of your classes, class schedule and everything else present in your college. If you go to your first day in college without having attended the orientation, you will face difficulties in locating your classes, restroom, cafeteria, etc. Not knowing where your classes are as a freshman student will make you look like a tourist with a map who is trying to find his or her destination; and most probably, you will be late for your first class in college. Being late for your first class creates a bad impression of you on your professors and that is one thing that should be completely avoided at all costs in your freshman year.
2. Bring all of your belongings to your dorm room
You dorm room is a place to study and sleep. Do not clutter it with unnecessary items like a huge refrigerator or extra tables and chairs. These are the things that you should not bring to your dorm room –
Your stereo system
Dorm rooms are supposed to be quiet and a place to rest and relax. You will be the most hated person on your dorm floor if your stereo is blaring out loud music when other students are either studying, relaxing or sleeping.
Your book collection
Even if you are an avid reader, you will not be able to finish more than five to six books in a semester because of all the reading assignments that you will have to do. Additionally, other activities like doing your laundry or completing your coursework will sufficiently take up your time, making it more difficult to concentrate on those books.
If your college is providing you a dorm room to study and sleep, it will surely provide you with adequate furniture. You do not need to take extra tables, chairs, beds, dressers, etc. because the existing furniture in a dorm room is sufficient.
Numerous decoration items
They will only take up space that could have been used to keep something more useful. So just avoid these.
If you and your roommate bring a mini fridge each, it is only going to hamper your movement inside the room. Communicate efficiently with your roommate. You should only bring those items that your roommate is not.
3. Take fewer clothes to your dorm room
Some colleges charge for their laundry service. So, if you plan to take fewer clothes and repeat them after regular washes, reconsider it. If you continue with the plan, you will find that most of your allowance will be spent on laundry when it could have been avoided.
One more reason to take sufficient clothes to your dorm room is that you will spend more time in the common laundry room waiting for your turn than studying or enjoying college life and its activities. Save money and time by taking sufficient clothes with you to college.
4. Lose contact with your old friends
Do not lose contact with your old friends. They have been with you throughout your life so far and there is no reason at all not to be in touch with them. If your college is near relatively close to your hometown, go and visit them or plan a night out with them on a weekend when you do not have coursework pressure.
These old friends will never fail to care for you because they are the ones that you have trusted for so many years. Even if your college is far away, or you have made great friends in college, call your old friends or communicate with them through video calling facilities. The benefits of contacting them regularly are that you will instantly feel de-stressed and also maintain long-term friendships.
5. Forget to contact your parents
Your parents are the only people in the world who will look after you at all costs. They worry about you constantly. Additionally, they are the ones paying for your college and other bills. Treat them with respect and do not be annoyed at their genuine texts and calls that ask about your health and overall well-being. Reply to these texts and calls as soon as possible.
You do not need to thank them profusely for the things that they did and are still doing for you. A simple reply is sure to make them happy and content.
6. Get into a relationship right away
If you have joined college as a person who has been single for a long time or as someone who has just gone through an emotional break-up, you will feel compelled to get into a relationship as soon as you enter college. You will feel a great urge to settle down with the first good-looking or behaving person that you meet in college as a freshman. The following are the reasons for you to avoid getting into a relationship in your freshman year –
College is about you
Yes, it is a clichéd phrase but it is true. Your freshman year is for you to discover yourself and your hidden talents or interests. This is the time for you to explore and learn new things. Romance and relationships can be saved for a later stage.
Leaving your home, family and friends for college was already emotional enough. The activities of college life will take a toll on you physically and mentally. You do not want an additional emotional toll in the form of a relationship. We do not even need to think about the emotional toll of a possible break-up.
Change of mind
It is during college life that students want to try new things all the time. Also, they may change their mind at a moment’s notice. In this situation, it is very difficult to be tied down in a relationship where you may not be allowed to do something that you wish to try in fear of upsetting your partner.
Join every club
Upperclassmen will always want more freshmen to join their activities or interests club. With so many upperclassmen approaching you, it can be tough for you to say no in fear of being shunned socially by seniors. However, you can accept all of their invitations and attend the first meetings of all these clubs.
Then, you can decide the club or clubs that you wish to be a part of and politely tell the other clubs’ representatives that their activity is either too taxing or too complex for you to cope with alongside your academics. This approach may not appease everyone but it will surely help you in the long run.
7. Get involved so much that you lose focus in your academics
Do not get overly involved in the activities and clubs. They are meant for recreational purposes and should remain so. They should not become your sole daily tasks. If you pay extra attention to these extracurricular activities, you will not get sufficient time to complete your academic requirements.
Getting ‘As’ and ‘Bs’ will not be as easy in college as it was in high school. You have to work hard and devote enough time to academics for good grades. Time management is vital to maintain a balance between extracurricular activities, social life and academics.
8. Skip class
Skipping class if you are sick or have an important pending task is permissible. However, if you skip class to binge, watch your favorite TV series or movies on Netflix or just to sleep for one extra hour and then do nothing afterwards, you are harming only yourself.
You cannot depend solely on your new friends or acquaintances to inform you of the day’s occurrences. They might even get annoyed at your lack of concern and may choose not to tell you about things that may be important. You may miss notices that mention important dates and events. So, unless you have a valid reason, do not skip class.
9. Avoid speaking to professors
Professors will help you with any coursework at any time during working hours. If you establish good communication with professors, you may get tips on examinations and you can get your doubts cleared without annoying a professor.
If you avoid talking to professors, you are missing out on knowing people who have profound knowledge on the subject of your choice and also know people who could help you in getting your desired job. Additionally, college professors do not impose discipline all the time and are more approachable than school teachers because they know that college students are adults and should be treated as such.
10. Buy things at full price
The most fatal error that you can commit in college is by paying full price for commodities or services. Almost all goods and service providers give considerable discounts to students. Utilize this advantage and buy items at lower prices to keep your monthly budget intact.
There are websites that offer commodities and services to students at lower prices and even provide the facility to compare prices across stores and other websites. Use that student ID card to save yourself a considerable amount of money.
11. Eat out often
One of the worst ways to relieve yourself of all your money is to eat out often. Restaurants and eating joints levy taxes which otherwise can be saved by eating at the dorm cafeteria or eating cooked food at your apartment. You can even use the leftovers of the cooked food to prepare a new meal for the next day.
Also, eating out often brings the possibility of food and water-borne diseases. Therefore, it is better to avoid eating out too often unless it there is a party or there is unavailability of food at the dorm.
12. Only communicate with other freshmen students
Do not only communicate with your fellow freshmen. Speak to some seniors, professors and college staff as well. Your fellow freshmen are in the same position as you are and some problems can only be solved by seniors or college personnel.
Also, do not talk to only that person who is from the same high school as you. Especially if you two did not talk to or like each other in school. There was a reason for you two not liking each other and it will not subside suddenly in college just because you two are the only known faces for each of you.
13. Use fake IDs for drinking or visiting a nightclub
Using fake IDs for drinking or to visit a nightclub can get you into major trouble if you are caught. Do not trust the person who says that the ID card will be accepted anywhere. You do not know the person and you are surely not an expert in ID cards.
If you are caught using this fake ID for illegal purposes, not only will you lose your credibility as a student in the eyes of your college, professors, and parents, but also may attract legal punishment.
14. Make a mess in the common areas
How would you feel if you wanted to go to the common washroom and found it to be so dirty that you simply cannot step inside? Similarly, you should not make such a mess in the common areas that others would find it repulsive. You do not want to be remembered as the person who clogged the drains or left unwanted hair on the toilet seat.
Girls should always pick up their fallen hair from the washroom floor, wrap it in paper, and then throw it in the waste bin. Boys should also clean the sink after they shave and also clean the toilet seat after relieving themselves.
15. Spend most of your time in the dorm room
You should not spend most of your time in your dorm room watching movies or a TV series or playing video games alone. College is a place to socialize and know different people. Even if you are not an extrovert, attempt to communicate with different people and try to make new friends.
You will be seeing the same people for four years and so it makes complete sense in talking to some of them and getting to know them better. You might even make a friend for life or even find your future partner while socializing.
16. Don’t just focus on your major course
It is a fact that you need to pay special attention to your major course for a degree in the same, but, do not miss out on the opportunity to learn something new or to continue learning about a subject that interests you.
For example, if your major subject is engineering but you like to read about wars and ancient artifacts, take a minor course in history. This additional course will keep your mind alert and help it in being more receptive to new information.
Therefore, to spend their college life in peace and with happiness, freshman college students should never do the above things in their first year in college. These things lead to awkwardness, shaming and an overall discontent for the student in the remaining years of college.
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