College freshman mistakes must be avoided at all costs. I made them and ended up dropping out of college. I can’t blame myself though for making those mistakes because at that time, I didn’t know as much as I know now.
The best I can do is to tell you about those freshman mistakes so that you can avoid them. I will break down the freshman mistakes into three major categories; academic, social and financial.
These three categories of mistakes made me drop out of college after my freshman year. You can get my full story here.
If you are a freshman and you don’t want to drop out of college, then steer clear of these mistakes.
College Freshman Mistakes: Academic Mistakes
1. Picking a Course you don’t like
When I joined college, I knew I was a bright student. But I fooled myself into thinking I could handle any course.
I had always wanted to pursue a course in the engineering space. But when my desire to get into an engineering class didn’t succeed, I was left with few options.
I consulted my Dad about an alternative course I could take and he suggested I take a course in the economics space.
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Immediately, my heart said no. But my Dad sweet-talked me into enrolling for a course in Economics. I further fooled myself to believe I could manage economics since I had been passing exams ever since I was in elementary school.
It didn’t take long before the horrible mistake I had made came to haunt me.
Right from my first assessment test, I posted poor results. I still remember I got one mark out of fifteen in my first assessment test. It was demoralizing.
The poor results continued throughout my first year. Eventually, I dropped out of college.
Be very careful when picking a course to pursue in college. Picking the wrong course is one of the common mistakes freshmen make and they pay heavily for it.
Research on the best practices when picking a course to pursue in college to avoid picking the wrong course.
2. Skipping Classes
Skipping classes is a college freshman mistake you must avoid. I skipped so many classes during my first semester in college. My main reason for skipping classes was just plain old laziness.
I would wake up and decide to skip a class just because I was feeling sleepy. My classmates warned me that I would fail my exams if I continued with my habit of skipping classes but I heard none of it.
Eventually, the result of skipping classes showed in my performance.
I also skipped classes because I hated the course I was doing. Classes were boring. Most times, I would barely understand anything during the lectures. It made no sense to go to class.
As the habit of skipping classes grew, so did my results tank. In my second semester as a freshman, I skipped more classes than those I attended.
After the second semester, dropping out was inevitable.
Don’t skip classes for petty reasons during your freshman year. Skipping classes is a habit that grows and eventually, you will be forced to drop out.
3. Underestimating Exams
College freshman academic mistake number three is underestimating exams. When I was in high school, my teachers kept saying that life in college is easy. They said that in college you didn’t have to work hard to pass exams.
Though they might have told us so with no ill motives, their words had a huge impact on my mentality. When I enrolled in college as a freshman, I expected to pass exams without much studying.
I never had a personal study timetable. All I did was attend classes and wait for exams.
When the examination period rolled in, I realized I had made a terrible mistake. I could barely remember anything that the lecturers had taught in class.
I left many blank spaces and even the questions I managed to answer were full of fluff. If you have read my story of how I dropped out of college, you know how my performance looked like after my first exam.
Prepare for exams with the seriousness they deserve. Mediocre preparation for exams is a direct ticket for retakes and in worst case scenarios, disqualification.
4. Last Minute Mentality
The last minute mentality cannot miss on the list of college freshman mistakes to avoid. This freshman mistake is rampant in college.
I don’t know why but I loved the last minute adrenaline rush when I was a freshman in college. Lecturers would give us assignments but I wouldn’t touch them until the very last minute.
Having to do an assignment within a short time forced me to copy it from other classmates and sometimes the internet.
Submitting assignments the very last minute was a bad habit that I kept promising myself that I would change but I never changed; it only got worse.
Later, during my freshman year of college, I failed to submit several assignments because I ran out of time. Failing to submit an assignment was a direct ticket to repeating the entire unit.
I had three units to repeat after my second semester during my freshman year. With such many units to repeat, I decided to drop out.
Do assignments immediately after a lecturer gives them to you. Waiting even for a day to pass will land you in the last minute mentality.
Freshman Mistakes to Avoid: Social Mistakes
1. Picking a Wrong Friend
This is one of the top freshman mistakes to avoid in college. In my early days in college, I met a childhood friend who had also enrolled in the same University I was in.
We reignited our friendship and begun spending a lot of time together. I made the mistake of allowing the negative habits of my friend get to me.
Since childhood, the friend of mine had hated school. He had been punished on several occasions for misconduct related to skipping school.
One day, in elementary school, he was caught hiding in a farm waiting for his mom to leave so that he could go home. Teachers reported to his mom that he had not arrived in school. His mom was surprised that he had not arrived in school yet she had prepared him to go to school.
After searching around, they found him in a grass farm next to the school.
In college, he still had the negative attitude towards school. He skipped classes, copied assignments and never read for exams.
Being his friend, I was slowly drawn into his habits. That was one of the reasons why I began skipping classes, copying assignments and not preparing for exams.
Avoid friends in college who have habits of skipping classes and not doing assignments. If you befriend them, you will end up like them or even worse than them.
2. Dating a Classmate
I had been warned before but in my foolishness, I made this college freshman mistake. Towards the end of my freshman year, I met a girl who had also enrolled in college to take a course in economics.
She was a year behind me but we met frequently as we went for our classes. I was drawn to her but I was afraid of asking her to be my girlfriend because I knew if she turned me down, it would be awkward meeting her.
Despite the risk, I went ahead and asked her to be my girlfriend. The worst happened; she turned down my proposal.
I felt so awkward and didn’t know what to do next. I got scared to go to class because I didn’t know what I would do if I met her.
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I missed many classes until I eventually dropped out all in the name of avoiding to meet a girl who had said no to me.
Don’t date your classmate unless both of you are on the same page. Still, dating a classmate is very slippery and if anything goes wrong, your academics will suffer a great deal.
Freshman Mistakes in College: Financial Mistakes
1. Spending Spree
Before I enrolled in University, I was used to being given little money. But after I joined University, my Dad begun giving me more money.
I never knew that having more money meant more problems. Soon after being left with a hefty amount of money, I began buying random stuff on the street.
I bought pairs of shoes I didn’t need, clothes I didn’t wear more than once and other unnecessary flashy products.
In less than a week after I was left with the money, I had burned through three quarters of it. Seeing that the money I had was running out faster than I expected, I panicked.
I took loans from lending apps to cover my expenses but my bad spending habit wiped out all the money. I was left broke and helpless.
I remember at one point I wanted to buy an exercise book but I couldn’t afford it. I only had a little money sufficient to buy food.
Learn basic money management skills before you enroll in college. They will save you a great deal of money and your financial life will be peaceful.
Gambling is a freshman mistake that must be avoided at all costs. Because of my bad spending habits during my freshman year, I was constantly broke. I decided to give gambling a try hoping it would save my financial woes.
Gambling only made my financial pit grow deeper. I got some money but I lost more. I moved from wasting my money on unnecessary expenses to wasting it on gambling.
I tried different gambling strategies but nothing worked.
By the time I was dropping out of college, I was deep in debt with gambling being the major cause.
Don’t fall for the trap of making quick money when you are in your freshman year. My article on should you work during your freshman year explains more.
Those were the college freshman mistakes I made during my freshman year. Avoid them at all costs for you to have a fulfilling college experience.