5 Rookie Mistakes College Freshmen Make


It won’t be long until students get their acceptance letters from colleges. They have an exciting but difficult choice in front of them that will affect the next four years of their life. It seems like, once they’re accepted to a college that the hard part is done but, actually their new adventure is just beginning. The freshman year can set the tone for how a student will feel about their college experience, but they’re also in a totally foreign environment where they have to make important decisions without help for the very first time. There are some pretty common rookie mistakes that new college students make that are best avoided if possible – didn’t get into the school you wanted to? Our Costa Mesa college admissions consultants are here to help.

1.  Signing up for too many classes

A lot of college freshman sign up for more classes than is appropriate for a first-year student. Even students who got all A’s with ease in high school should be prepared for the extra challenges that occur at the university level. In addition to adjusting to a regular schedule of classes, students will be making new friends, completing volunteer work, visiting professors at office hours, and working a part-time job. Most students can either take four or five classes in any given term, so it’s a good idea for freshmen to think about what’s appropriate for them as a new student (READ: 5 Things You Might Not Expect About College Finals).

2.  Losing a work-life balance

Some students may not even yet have gained a work-life balance and may have been burning the candle at both ends during their college prep years. Other students will have had a pretty decent balance between school work and fun while in high school, but both types of students will tend to become overwhelmed as a freshman. Even when work is hard, and finals are looming it’s important for students to get enough sleep, take meal breaks, and get light exercise. Good health is an important part of a good college experience.

3.  Spending too much money

For the most part, new college students will be managing their money for the very first time. Many students spend way too much money their first year in college and are left with more debt than they can handle. There are lots of ways students can cut corners to save a buck, but they’re not used to personal finance, so they don’t know where their money is going and how quickly it’s leaving their bank account. It’s essential for college freshman to have a budget in mind before they go to their first day of classes.

4.  Not being flexible

Another thing that tends to cause a problem for freshman is an inability to roll with the punches. Many freshmen have a specific idea of what classes they were going to take and what they were going to accomplish in their first year only to find out that things didn’t work out quite the way they wanted. It’s important to remember that there are multiple ways students can be successful and that college life is going to throw them a lot of curveballs. Students who learn to be flexible and stay relaxed during these early adult challenges are more likely to have fun and be successful academically.

5.  Staying entirely within their comfort zone

Another thing that tends to trip up first-year students is the fear of stepping outside their comfort zone. College is a great opportunity to meet all different types of people, learn something new, develop new hobbies and interests, joined a new club, learn about new cultures and so on. However, nervousness and anxiety tend to keep a lot of freshmen in a small box that they create for themselves which feels cozier than trying something new. Everybody transitions at their pace but it’s important for freshmen to look at all of the things college has to offer including the new and exciting things that await them outside of their normal routine.

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