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Aug 01 2016
by Garfield Harrison III

The Seven (Sort of) Deadly Sins of College Freshmen

By Garfield Harrison III - Aug 01 2016
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With move-in day rapidly approaching, I thought I should ask some of my upperclassmen friends what they would've changed during their freshman year of college. I got quite a few lengthy text messages and tweets from my peers about what NOT to do as a freshman in college. With each response varying from person to person, I collected the most repeated themes and formed the following list. Now this list was brought to you by people like you, so don't shoot the messenger! 

Sin #1: Skipping Class

We’ve all had the thought, “It’s just one class.” “I won’t even miss that much!” “I’ll get the notes from –––.” Don’t do it. You’re just putting yourself behind in the class and college classes are a completely different ball game from high school courses. In the long run, you just paid of $300 to skip a class. The professor gets paid either way, remember? It’d be way better to just go to the class and sit and half listen than to not got all together. Sick days and mental health days don’t count on this sin but try to keep your attendance near perfect. Some courses and profs count attendance as a grade.

Sin #2: Taking Eight AM Courses

Anything good anyone ever told you about taking an 8 o' clock class is lying to you. Don’t trust them. If you aren’t a morning person and fear sunlight, an 8 a.m. course may not be for you. During scheduling, try to get classes after eight to better your chances of being alive, awake and alert for the day. If in the result you get stuck with an 8 a.m. class, try to prep your body for the time change earlier by waking up early a few days or weeks before you actually have to. That way when the time comes, your body is already on a schedule.

Sin #3: Cramming

If you still haven't learned this lesson from high school, it’s better to learn it sooner or later. Cramming is never a good solution for anything. Find time to do so real studying before any quiz, test or final. Having a planner or calendar is one of the easiest ways to mark down what’’s coming next and plan your days prior to an assessment. Also, a good way to help prevent cramming is by setting reminders on your phone to alert you of when a test is approaching.

Sin #4: Not Eating Breakfast

“What’s going on in there?” Well, it better be breakfast. You’ve heard it time and time again. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gets your brain flowing and the energy pumping. The worst thing in the world, is trying to learn new material on an empty stomach. Especially early in the morning. A good alternative for hot breakfast or cereal in the morning is a breakfast shake. They are portable and easy to buy in bulk. Plus there is now cooking required! Just shake and go! Breakfast can be a hard thing to squeeze in if you have a decent walk to your first or second class. A quick way to grab energy is to buy granola bars and fruit to keep in your dorm. Gatorade is also a great little pick me up to have in your dorm to pair with one of those snacks.

Sin #5: Hiding in Your Dorm

Not to sound cliche, but these are supposed to be some of the best years of our lives and you shouldn’t spend them crammed in a 12’ x 10’ room. It’s college! Go out and meet new people. There are so many clubs and organizations itching to join new people so that they can grow. There is something for everyone. From quidditch to volleyball to book club to chess, there is something out there that you like and other people like it as well. Campus life is so huge that friends can be made literally anywhere. You just have to put yourself out there a little and you’re bound to bump into someone or something that takes your interest.

Sin #6: Not Using Your Resources

I’m sure that at least one of your libraries is open 24 hours that you can find that perfect quote to end that 10 page research paper. The library is a great place to meet new people and to get help on classes that you’re having a hard time in. There may be parts of the lesson you get and some parts you don’t. Study groups are a great resource to get help on the things you don’t understand and also help others on what they don’t get but you do. The best resource of all is your professor themselves. I mean they are getting paid to teach you after all. Find out when their office hours are and try to use them as best you can. There is no need to struggle when your professor is available for quick questions about the lesson.

Sin #7: Forgetting the Family

One of the reason’s you’re probably here is because someone paid for you to be here. Never forget your family back home who loves you a lot and wants you to succeed to your fullest potential. Try to take some trips back home to see your relatives and hometown friends every once in awhile. And enjoy mom’s home cooking while you’re there too; Ramen and Hot Pockets aren’t necessarily a 5-star dinner. So eat up and have a good time with your family. They miss you and will love to see and hear you for a change.  


Keeping away from the "sins" listed above should keep you on track for a happy and healthy freshman year of college. Tweet out with the hashtag: #2020Sins with sins that you think should have made the top 7! 

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Garfield Harrison III - Texas State University

Garfield Harrison is a first year/second semester sophomore at Texas State University pursuing a major in Journalism. Garfield is a member of the black community and enjoys Beyonce, Pentatonix, Drum Corps International, puppies and naps. Follow him on Twitter: @graafeld

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