There are plenty of lists out there letting you know what to do to have a successful Freshman year but what about the things you shouldn't do?
Don't: Forget to call your parents
Your parents are going to worry about you a lot, so it helps to give them a call or Skype them once a week or something like that. Plus, if you stay on their good side they’ll be more willing to help you out in terms of financial matters, plus they can be a good resource if you’re having roommate drama or problems in school. Your parents will always be there for you, and they are usually on your side, so they’re great to complain to and relieve some stress.
Don't: Get into a relationship right away
This can work for some people, but it often doesn’t. The same goes for high school relationships. Give yourself time to meet a variety of people before you decide to settle down. That hot guy from down the hall might seem like the perfect choice at first glance until you get to know him and realize he doesn’t even know what 2+2 is. Also if you settle down you might miss out on a lot of things because you’re too wrapped up in your new significant other. Then you break up over the summer and you return to school your sophomore year and you find you don’t have many friends because you only hung out with them while you were with your boyfriend or girlfriend. College is about meeting new people and enjoying yourself, and having a relationship right away can hamper that.
Don't: Think it will be easy to get A’s
Since you don’t have parents around anymore, there is no one forcing you to do your homework, and many people already have the mind frame that homework doesn’t help anyway. But in some cases it really can. I had an easy time with Statistics my freshman year because I took the 20 minutes to do the problems that we had assigned, whereas I knew many people who failed because they thought it was going to be easy and didn’t know how to do anything on the tests. You have to put work in, you can’t just show up to class or tests and expect to receive that A. I had a pretty high GPA in high school without doing a lot of work and I found that I did not have that same kind of ease in college. If you are putting in the work and are still struggling, there are plenty of places around campus where you can find help. Every school will have a writing center, a math center, tutors for all subjects and don’t forget you can ask your teachers for help.
Don't: Disrespect public spaces
You’ll most likely be sharing bathrooms and common areas with a lot of people, so make sure to clean up after yourself. If you make a mess in the microwave, clean it up. You wouldn’t want to go make Easy Mac and open the microwave to see the walls covered in some unidentifiable substance, so don’t do that to other people. For girls, don’t leave clumps of your hair around in drains or sinks, and guys when you shave make sure to also clean out the sink. I’ve seen the cleaning staff refuse to clean bathrooms if they are too dirty, so don’t let that happen to you, because then you have to clean it all up. By keeping it relatively clean and mess-free, it’s less work for everyone.
Don't: Sign up for everything
You hit up the activity fair that first week and you get conned into club by all the upperclassmen. Then, you’re bombarded with a hundred emails a day asking you to do this or about this event that you have to attend, and it’s a little much. Find a few clubs or organizations that you’re interested in, and sign up for those. On the flip side, make sure you do sign up for something. Being involved on campus is a great way to meet other freshmen and upperclassmen, and it keeps you busy so you don’t sit around snacking or sulking because you haven’t met anyone yet.
Don't: Skip class
Again, college is going to require you to do a lot of work. Some teachers may not take attendance, but that doesn’t mean that you can skip every single class and still pass. Teachers expect you to be adults about the situation and know that if you want to do well you need to motivate yourself to come to class. And if you don’t go to class, you won’t be able to meet your teachers or make those connections that are important later in life.