In the spirit of completeness, here is a complementary list of freshman don’ts for all of you upcoming college freshmen to go along with my last post.
1) Don’t go Greek. Not just yet. College is a huge transition even for the best student and your favorite fraternity or sorority will always be there. Plus, it costs a lot of money – add it up!
2) Don’t rush into a relationship. There are many people you will meet in the course of activities, games, classes, clubs, and study groups and you don’t need yet another distraction.
3) Don’t get a credit card. You might feel like it’s the adult thing to do and many vendors will be trying to get you to build your credit. The last thing a college student needs is this equivalent of a loaded gun. Live and act like a broke college student.
4) Don’t hibernate in your room feeling sorry for yourself. Facebook is not a substitute for real world experiences and relationships. The best antidote to home-sickness is staying busy.
5) Don’t cheat. Universities have a reputation to uphold and they take very strong measures against cheaters and plagiarism.
6) Don’t badmouth your professors or instructors. They aren’t picking on you so don’t take it personally. Do what is expected and you’ll have a great experience and probably learn something cool.
7) Don’t drink underage, even if offered and others make you think you’re safe, and don’t do drugs. Underage drinking can land you in jail and if you combine it with driving at any age you could kill yourself or someone else. Your school probably has some anti-drug policies, but you’ll be offered and tempted to try things to make you feel better or enhance your performance that sound innocent enough. These things are dangerous and, if you don’t know any better, they can land you in jail even though you thought they were legal.
8) Don’t get into compromising situations. This era of camera phones that are always connected to the internet can land an undesirable picture of you in cyberspace forever. Employers check out your social media activities so make sure your reputation remains intact.
9) Don’t steal or let your guard down. This one should also be obvious but when you get on your own and nice things are left out in the open the temptation can be great. Also protect yourself by locking up your valuables.
10) Don’t be a mooch or bad roommate. You’ll be sharing living areas, bathrooms, eating areas, and maybe even a bedroom depending on your dorm setup. Be courteous and conscious of those around you.
11) Don’t change majors in your first month. Many of you chose the school you’re going to based on your major. It’s going to be hard and it might feel like you’ve chosen the wrong field of study. Give it a chance for at least the first year.
12) Don’t procrastinate. I can’t stress enough how much heavier the workload will be in college. Even if it feels like you have plenty of time, get your assignments done as soon as possible. Bad grades are the quickest way to ensure that a four-year program turns into five.