Mistakes To Avoid for Undergrads Starting College

Are you about to start university? It can be daunting to jump into college without knowing much about what to expect. Here are 13 MISTAKES to AVOID for all freshers.

For yours truly, 2020 has been an unbelievably dynamic year so far.

Among other things, this year marked the commencement of my university experience as a first-year student.

University brings along with it a huge amount of lessons to be learned and I have certainly had a steep learning curve, as I am sure all the other freshers have had themselves.

The beauty of student life is that it is the first stage in life where it becomes obvious to a person of everyone carving their individual paths.

With this in mind, some of you guys might think this list absurdly obvious whilst for others it will be enlightening.


I am sure you know that varsity is nothing like high school.

It is an entirely setup and vibe.

This means that you will need to look at recreating your routine.

Related: 15 Major Differences Between High School and College


2. books books books

No doubt you have definitely heard about the immense workload that university throws at students.

You are going to be buried by assignments, prescribed readings, and just general activities to complete.

It’s a lot to have to stay on top of.

This means that it’s easy for stuff to disappear and so you may be better off keeping all your notes central, be it in a file or online.

stack of books against a strong yellow background

3. staying up to date

Don’t get me wrong here, keeping up with the latest material is how a person ought to be studying.

The reality though is that there will come a time when you fall behind ever so slightly.

When this happens, don’t panic you will get back up to speed.

The problem with keeping up to date with all the work is when it begins to evolve into a source of anxiety and self-induced pressure.

And that ties into the next point…

Related: Power-House Productivity Strategies for Students

Related: Simple Time Management Strategies for Students

time to update

4. workaholic

The extreme to always being up to date is working ahead of the curve.

This certainly speaks to a persons work ethic and its by no means a bad thing.

Though too much of one thing is a bad thing. The same is true for being a workaholic.

The danger in being a workaholic who constantly tries to clear assignments as soon as they come in is that the work doesn’t stop.

And if the work doesn’t stop coming in then the workaholic never goes out.

Related: 15 Types of Students

burn out written on wooden blocks

5. overextending yourself

College is an amazing platform to explore a myriad of new hobbies and activities.

With this gateway into the world of experiences though comes the emphasis that must be placed on self-awareness.

You, and only you will be able to assess if you can handle the load you’re taking on.

Be conscious of the responsibilities you’re signing yourself up for.

man sitting at a desk with sticky notes placed all over his desk and face

6. not asking for help

The student community is one of the most supportive communities out there.

As students, we’re all in the same boat. Everyone has either been there, is going through what you’re experiencing, or is asking the same question as you are.

Don’t be afraid to reach out. People will surprise you with how supportive they are.

hikers helping each other climb a mountain

7. being a lone ranger

Tying in directly to the previous point, we have the lone ranger.

It’s amazing to see how quickly one can come to grips with content or concepts through the use of collaboration.

When it comes to studying and working through problems, teamwork does tend to make the dream work – just remember the previous tip above!

paper planes travelling in one direction with one jet diverting from the standard route

8. sitting in the same lecture seats

Probably one of the most exciting parts about university is being able to make a whole bunch of new friends.

There are plenty of new faces on campus to socialize with.

What I have found is that people tend to sit in roughly the same seats for their lectures.

By moving around the lecture halls and sitting in different areas you can meet many more people and build that network of yours.

On the note of moving around…

Related: What are Lectures Like?

purple and red auditorium seating

9. up & down to campus

Ok, I’ll admit that I am definitely guilty of this one.

More often than not, I’d end up heading back to my room in between lectures to relax.

It certainly has its benefits, but it can tend to be tiring.

It’s worthwhile to consider just planting yourself on campus until the end of your lectures and then head home.

man holding a skateboard walking through a plaza

10. ad hoc meals

Days in the life of a student can be long and draining.

When you get home you’re not necessarily going to feel like cooking yourself a meal.

It’s at times like this that eating out or ordering in becomes all the more appealing.

You’ll save yourself a ton of money and, potentially, time in the gym if you meal prep for the few days or even week that lies ahead.

Related: Are You Looking For Some Tasty Treats?

Related: The Student Money-Making Mindset

woman staring at her open fridge

11. no cookbook

Meal prepping requires having some recipes readily available to be made use of.

You’ll want to sharpen those culinary skills of yours as a student.

After all, there are only so many ways one can eat toast…

Related: 8 Easy Vegan Recipes to Try For Yourself

handwritten cookbook

12. grocery shopping during rush-hour

The fantastic aspect of student life is the freedom and flexibility your schedule often provides.

Times is a luxury that students really are able to soak up.

Because of this, I wouldn’t think any student would be thrilled to spend their invaluable time waiting in ques to check out their groceries.

person in motion grocery shopping

13. fashion show

Comfort is key when it comes to student living.

Slap on those sneakers, sweatpants and hoodie and head over to class.

woman fashion items: heels, dress, purse, makeup, necklaces and hat


Hopefully, this little guide will help you to better prepare for your upcoming university journey.


Which tip did you not expect to see on this list?

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