The Traps You Fall Into During Your College Career Could Haunt You Forever

by Ashley Fern

College presents a set of challenges completely distinct from any other situation. By becoming aware of the difficulties college presents, freshmen will have a better time navigating through them. Just because you were successful in high school does not guarantee the same results in a college setting. It’s a good idea to do your research before arriving on campus.

Try and get advice from those who have already made it through their freshman years, as these people can be your most valuable resources.

It is crucial for incoming freshmen to go into their college experience with as much of an open mind as possible, and to take advantage of as many opportunities as they can.

Embrace the challenge of new responsibilities and choices, and explore all of the opportunities your school has to offer. Figure out the things you like and don’t like and try new things you never even thought of. College is a learning experience where you will discover new things about yourself you never thought you would.

Let’s take a look at the 10 traps you should be aware of your freshman year of college:

1. Waiting until the last moment

Don’t waste your time bullsh*tting around until the night before your paper is due or you have an exam. Learn to pace yourself and make a schedule. It’s easy to get caught up in all aspects that college has to offer and to ignore your obligations. Don’t make this mistake freshman year because once you make it a habit, it becomes even more difficult to break.

2. Prioritizing partying over schoolwork/Schoolwork over socializing

You need to find a happy medium between partying and studying. This is the first time you are living independently, so of course you’re going to want to take full advantage of this new situation. It’s difficult to remember that you are actually at college to do work and not just to have fun.

3. Adderall Binges

Many people are not prepared for the immense work college presents and, as a result, turn to study aids like Adderall. Whether it’s pulling an all-nighter, a last-minute binge study for a test, trying to finish a long essay you couldn’t give any less of a sh*t about, or just allowing yourself to focus for one hour on a simple assignment, too many college kids have become fully dependent on the use of Adderall.

4. Freshman 15

The freshman 15 is no myth and to be honest, it’s more like the freshman 20+. As you try and adjust to a new lifestyle, you will realize that you are busier than you ever have been before. Make sure you aren’t making the mistake of only eating fast food and putting exercise on the backburner.

5. Equating sex with love

Welcome to college, where the alcohol is constantly flowing and the bad decisions are ever present. This is a completely new environment, one like you have never experienced before. This is the time when people start experimenting and figuring out what they like. The sooner you realize that sex and love are not one in the same, the more pain you will save yourself from.

6. Judging

College is a place to reinvent yourself, so be open-minded as everyone is starting off in the same position: a scared, nervous freshman. Everyone feels at least a bit of anxiety before embarking on this 4-year adventure. Recognize the fact that everyone is interesting, so talk to as many people as you can. Widen your mindset and learn about the different kinds of people out there. That’s the amazing thing about college, it brings people together from all different places and backgrounds.

7. Blacking Out 24/7

College freshmen go crazy over the idea of being able to go out and party whenever they want to. You have to be very careful with this because it can have catastrophic effects besides just waking up with a hangover. It’s not a good look to earn yourself the reputation as the campus blackout the first month you get to college.

Try to learn how to pace yourself so you’re not the one who needs to be carried out of the party by your friends. Just because you don’t remember the events of the night doesn’t mean everyone else has forgotten, too.

8. Not looking outside your immediate surroundings

Just remember you don’t have to be best friends with your roommate or even the people in your dorm. Finding friends can be somewhat difficult because it involves putting yourself out there. This can be an intimidating situation, just remember everyone else is going through the same ordeal. New friendships take time, you can’t expect to just walk into college and have a close group of friends instantaneously.

9. Not participating in class

You think you look like a loser for raising your hand in class, but, in actuality, that’s not true. Of course it’s intimidating to be the initial volunteer, but by actively participating in class discussions, you can deepen your understanding of the subject at hand. Also, if you are enthusiastically engaging yourself in class discussion, you will make your presence felt. Your teacher will remember this when you try and argue your 89.4% overall grade to that A-.

10. Don’t give into peer pressure

When you enter college, you will be exposed to things you have yet to encounter in life. The party scene gets pretty wild at big-time universities, so the drug and alcohol consumption is very apparent. It doesn’t make you cool to upperclassmen if you are throwing back 10 shots in ten minutes or snorting lines of blow.

They are well aware of what you’re doing and aren’t impressed. Don’t make yourself look like a fool by going overboard with behaviors you have never dabbled with before.