8 Mistakes You Should Avoid During Your First Year Of University

College. Yes, it’s daunting. When we first arrive at university as first year students, we make a lot of mistakes. Maybe we think that we know better and maybe we feel grown up. Sometimes we make mistakes because we don’t really know better. So, here’s a list of mistakes to avoid so you can make the best of this new chapter of your life.

  1. 1. You're not going to class.

    It's like that when you first arrive at university you'll have a lot of sudden freedom. Skipping class to sleep in or to hang out with your friends isn't worth it. Plenty of professors have an attendance grade listed in the syllabus: showing up for class is going to count towards your final grade. Some professors might have a strike policy in which you can miss class a certain amount of times. You should save these days for when you’re sick and can't get to the doctor or for when you need a mental health break. Plus, this grade could be your saving grace. If you have a full mark, it might help you get an A! If you miss class, you'll also be missing important information. Notes are only so reliable. Try to go to every class, because it really can make the difference.

  2. 2. You’re overspending.

    Now that I’m in college I’ve realized that I have the most money I’ve ever had while still being broke. Figuring out how to manage to spend your money and spending it wisely is super important. Learn to budget! You don’t need to eat out with your friends every day. You can meal prep and bring food from your house. You can heat it up on campus or bring something you don’t have to heat up. You also don’t need a new wardrobe every month. At the end of your first semester, you’re going to realize you’ve been using the same two pairs of jeans, five t-shirts and three pairs of shoes for every class. If you're still finding that you spend a lot, try to manage that by checking out 3 Tips to Save Cash at UPRRP.

  3. 3. You procrastinate OR study too much.

    Doing too much of anything is bad for you. You def shouldn't do your assignments last minute but you shouldn’t bury yourself in work either. You might end up burning out. As a professional procrastinator, I need to tell you that uni life is jam-packed with assignments. If you leave everything for later (because you think you’ll be able to deal with it) you’re going to have a hard time. However, studying constantly means that you'll get mental fatigue. You should go out, have fun and participate in college activities too. Even then, there are some of us that simply don't have the privilege to take breaks. If you work, How to Manage Work and Study is the article for you.

  4. 4. You buy ALL the “required” books.

    After a while of being in university, you’ll realize that the books listed as “required” on the syllabus, will end up collecting dust on your shelves. Don’t go out and spend hundreds of dollars on books as soon as you get your syllabus, it would be best to wait a bit before buying them. You might realize you’ll only be using a chapter. Two things happen next: either that chapter is online or someone will send you a typed up summary.

  5. 5. You only buy new books.

    Believe me, when you're a college student, used books are your best friends. Nobody has hundreds of dollars just laying around. Even if you really need to buy your books, you can save a lot of money by buying used books. You can find books as cheap as $1 or $2! When you buy used books you don’t only help your wallet, you also help the environment. If you can’t find the book in used condition, you can rent it if you only need it for the semester.

  6. 6. You eat tons of junk food.

    Eating constantly and eating well was one of the things that hit me the hardest as a first-year student. Nobody tells you not to eat that ice cream or to stop eating fast food. Sometimes, it’s hard to cook because you feel like you never have the time or the energy for t. Plus, you have to go grocery shopping. Still, you need to set health goals. Don’t eat out more than twice a week. You can meal prep at the start of the week so you don’t have to worry about cooking after class or between classes. Fast food has little to no nutritional value. This can impact your sleep, energy levels, and your ability to concentrate. Read up on the effects of fast food on your body. You can also find college-friendly meal prep ideas at The College Nutritionist and avoid bad food habits!

  7. 7. You aren’t doing the assigned readings.

    Your life will be a lot less stressful if you do the required readings. This content will help you with your assignments and tests so leaving them for later is going to be really bad. They’ll definitely pile up. I’ve found that professors enjoy it when students comment on the assigned material and when they show more interest. If you read, it’ll be easier to follow along in class as well. A lot of students don’t do the reading, which can make the professors get a bit frustrated and start giving quizzes. It’s your grade and just because other students aren’t reading doesn’t mean you should ignore your work too.

  8. 8. You forget your wallet.

    It seems kind of obvious but I need to mention it just in case. You don’t know if you’ll ever need money or your student ID, so it’s better to have your wallet just in case. Without your student ID you may not be able to access certain buildings and resources which will majorly suck. Plus, emergencies happen all the time so having some money in hand is really important.

You’re bound to make mistakes and that’s perfectly fine. Of course, you can avoid some of these and have a better first year experience. You may end up having less regrets and more awesome memories. Hope you have a great first year in college and remember to have fun!