So you’re going to be a freshman. Thanks to your advisor/mom/campus tour/Bed Bath and Beyond advertisements, you think you’re ready. You learned how to do laundry, you’ve purchased the Twin XL sheets, you measured your future dorm room (and cried when you realized you could touch all 4 walls from the middle of the room) and all those A.P. classes have prepared you for the workload that comes in college.
Congrats. You now know about 10% of what you need to know to survive freshman year.
The truth is, there is a lot that happens your first year of college that no advisor (and especially not your parental units) is going to know about. And that’s why we’re here – to get you from Welcome Week through final exams in one glorious piece. And to try and stop you from making the same mistakes we did. Again and again.
You wanna survive your first year of college? Avoid any and all of these freshman year faux pas:
1. 8am class.
Despite thinking that 8am really is not that early, there is no way you are actually getting up for this class once you begin to discover that there is potential to party every night of college. Do yourself a favor and don’t even try. 99% of the time, this class will be offered at another time or another semester. If you have to re-work your entire schedule and eliminate time for lunch between classes, do it. I promise, it’s worth it.
2. Hooking up with an older frat boy…and thinking that he will automatically fall in love with you.
In reality, college boys have been waiting three years to finally be big men on campus and use this status to hit on freshman girls. Have fun, just try not to get too attached.
3. Puking in Public.
You’re in college. Great job! This means you have pretty much unlimited access to alcohol. This does not mean that your tolerance has gone up since high school. While the people around you may be able to slam 10 beers in 10 minutes, it might not be the case for you. Don’t be stupid. And if you are, excuse yourself before you become “girl who puked in her hands.”
4. Skipping Class.
I get it: skipping lecture where there are 300 people and no one takes attendance is tempting. But don’t do it. Lecture notes are incredibly important to your academic success and oftentimes the professor will discuss things that are not in your assigned reading but are in your final exam. Getting to class isn’t hard, so suck it up, bring some snacks and get to it.
5. Showing up to a frat party with male friends.
The rule of frats is simple: chicks are in, and guys are always going to have to wait. Do yourself a favor and make your group at least a 2:1 ratio in favor of the female gender.
6. All Sweats, All The Time
Ah, sweatpants. Love ’em. But despite the comfort they provide (especially after you #3 and you’ve got a #1), they don’t love you back. Between the drunk eating, nasty dorm food, and major beer calories, you will gain weight. And without the guide that only a non-elastic waistband can provide, you’ll never know it. Put on some jeans once in awhile.
7. Overdressing in theme.
Theme parties are great, but remember that as a freshman, you will likely be party hopping (especially if you mess up on #4 and can’t get in to the party you dressed for). Don’t go all out for a “CEO and Corporate Hoes” party unless you plan to stay there all night. Otherwise you may end up wearing a bra and a pencil skirt at an ’80s party, and that’s just not cool.
8. Spending all of your time video chatting.
While your home friends are great, so are the people at college! Branch out, and learn to put away your Skype for some real person time so that you actually make new friends. While a little bit of homesickness is normal, a relationship with your computer is not.
9. Winging an Exam.
If you did fine in high school not studying, good job. That’s not how it works here. Even those of us who do study can’t always make the grades, so don’t hurt yourself before you even take the exam. This is what you’re here for, after all.
10. Drunk Dialing Your Parents
It’s funny at the moment, but no one’s laughing the next morning when your mom calls at 9am and gives you “the talk.”