College Experts: Avoiding Freshman Mistakes

“I’m so excited for college to just start already! I’m totally the kind of person to overlook a few things when I’m excited, so what are some common mistakes freshman make that I can avoid?” – Jill P., Lafayette, IN
A: Perception v. Reality
Are professors aloof? Administrators that don’t give a whiff about students? Some may argue that this is the state of higher education. I would argue that it is far from the truth. Students are advised to start making connections with assistant professors, academic advisors, and others that form the heart, soul, and body of an institution of higher learning. There are people to help you grow as an individual, but you must also take the initiative to make that connection. Everybody that works for a college or university is a person who contributes significantly in one way or another.   – David Hamilton – Director of College Advising – St. Mary’s Ryken High School
A: College classes move quickly. Don’t get left in the dust.
One of the things that often catch freshmen by surprise is how quickly the term passes. The paper that was assigned the first week of class will be due before you know it. Because classes tend to move more quickly than in high school, it’s easy to get behind. So don’t put things off. Seek tutoring right away if you’re struggling. Get your reading done and work on that paper. Take advantage of your professor’s office hours to get additional help or deepen your understanding of the subject. Doing all this will make your freshman year go much more smoothly.
– Julie Manhan— Founder – College Navigation
A: Secrets for freshman year success.
The most important tip for your freshman year is good time management. It is very easy to get behind in your studies with the new freedom and independence of being a college student. The majority of your homework is reading and it may seem inconsequential to skip it for a class. However, if it is not completed as assigned, it becomes impossible to play catch up before an exam. You may want to set up a “study / homework” calendar and prioritize your academic responsibilities. Do not put off for tomorrow the homework that needs to be done today!
– Farron Peatross– Educational Consultant – EduCPlanner.com
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The Unigo Expert Network is a group of top education experts from across the US answering questions submitted by students and parents about college admissions and succeeding after high school.