Brace yourselves for this important and completely revolutionary newsflash: college is going to be different than high school.
I know; it’s crazy. You’ve probably never heard that before. But while we’re all looking forward to the future, we’re forgetting about a few things that are holding us back. It was easy to breeze through high school with bad habits and attitude — and most of the time it probably worked out pretty well — but it’s not hard to anticipate that, in college, most of that is just not going to fly.
1. Not studying
Procrastination is a senior year epidemic, but don't let it ruin your freshman year, too. Numerous psychological studies have proven that studying daily keeps the material fresh in your mind so you'll remember more and avoid pulling an all-nighter before a test. Win-win. Read the passages you've gone over in class multiple times and ask yourself questions about the reading in order to get the best results.
2. Turning in assignments late
Unlike in high school, most of the time college professors don't really care about what you missed, whether you had a good excuse or not. If you're absent, get the notes and work from someone else and don't pull the “my internet wasn't working” excuse when you had an essay due at midnight.
3. Thinking clubs are lame
Admittedly, in high school there were often limited opportunities for extracurriculars and most of the ones you did participate in were probably to help pad your college applications. The opportunities at college are so much more varied and they give you an awesome chance to get to know people and stay active. You’ll feel more connected and really find a community, even if you're at a school with 20,000 students. Everything from intramural sports like inner tube water polo (that's totally a real thing) to volunteer organizations are fair game. Find what you're passionate about and get involved!
4. Not respecting your teachers
Being the class clown might have been your shtick in high school, but there's not really a place for it at college. Being well-liked by your professor is essential if you want extra opportunities so talking during lecture is not your best plan. Instead, make sure to stop by during office hours and show your professor you really care about the class so if they find out about a special opportunity, you'll be one of the students they think of.
5. Staying up late
If you don't have an early morning class, it can be tempting to want to stay up all night watching Netflix or making mischief, but it's something you'll definitely regret come morning. Even if you have a late class, you have enough to do between studying and socializing that sleeping in until 12 p.m. every day to make up for the sleep you lost is not going to work out well. Take advantage of the extra time you'll have in the morning to study so when you're done with classes, you'll have more time to spend doing what you want.
6. Eating out all the time
In high school, it was easy to ask mom or dad for 10 bucks to go the nearest Panera. But not only are you not going to have as much easy access to cars (or gas money), but you’re not going to have an at-home ATM — a.k.a. your parents. You’ll blow through cash a lot quicker than you think and, without a job, it’ll be a lot harder to replace. No one wants to be broke the weekend of a big formal or opening night of the new Star Wars film so save yourself the trouble and take advantage of the dining hall. Embrace the monotony of a broke college student diet.
7. Waiting until the last minute to get ready
In college, you won’t have to wake up ridiculously early to straighten your hair or find the perfect shirt in time for 8 a.m. first period. Unless you made the mistake of signing up for an early class, in which case: God help you. However, it’ll be easy to slip back into the habit of sleeping in until the very latest moment in order to make it out the door to class, but this is just inviting disaster. After the first few times you get a glare from the professor for walking in late or realize you forgot to brush your teeth while talking to that cute girl, you’ll never make that mistake again.
8. Not coming to class prepared
Admit it, how many times did you have to borrow a piece of paper or a pen from your teacher when you had an essay test that period? Unfortunately, most of the time professors won’t have that same supply of essentials at the ready. They don’t often have permanent classrooms and “unprepared freshman” is not exactly a great impression to leave, especially when you could very well need a nudge on your final grade or want a nod for an internship opening. Stay on the safe side and be ready with the school supplies.
9. Not cleaning up after yourself
If you're like me, you probably ignored your parents nine times out of 10 when they asked you to clean your room. Your roommate, however, is not going to appreciate being treated the same way. Not to mention, having two or three people living in the same tiny space is going to get messy a whole lot quicker than your room back home did and you'll easily lose track of items if they all get mixed up. For your sake, as well as your roommates’, stay organized.
10. Raising your hand to go to the bathroom
Lead Image Credit: Moyan Brenn