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Common Mistakes Freshmen Should Avoid

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UMass Amherst students walking in winter. Text: "Freshman Follies - Mistakes to avoid during your first year of college

Starting college is one of the most exciting times of any student’s life because it is the beginning of a brand new chapter. You're finally off on your own without your parents to tell you what to do, and your success is entirely dependent on you. It may seem intimidating at first, but it’s an unforgettable experience that will allow any individual to mature and grow. With that being said, here are some common mistakes all UMass freshmen should avoid.

Missing Classes

Without having to be at school at a specific time every day, it’s really easy to skip class. There will be those mornings where you have an 8 a.m. class and your bed feels so comfy. I cannot emphasize this enough, go to class! I will be the first to admit that I have skipped classes before, and it comes back to bite me. By missing class, you not only miss the material taught during the time period, but also you miss the chance to meet new peers and get closer with the professor who could be a candidate for a recommendation letter.

Doing Homework on Your Own

In high school, you may have been able to breeze through all your homework and assignments by yourself without a problem. But in college, that changes entirely. UMass offers so many resources and materials for nearly every single class, so it's in your best interest to utilize them. I recall that, during my freshman year I thought I wouldn't need any help. I took advantage of free resources that the campus offers, which led to academic success.

Not Staying in Contact With Friends or Family

You may feel you’re off to bigger and better things, and that may be true, but it doesn’t hurt to keep in contact with your family and hometown friends. It can actually be healthy and therapeutic to converse with your parents, siblings, and friends because it’s a nice temporary detachment from college life.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

Perhaps one of the biggest epidemics college students have is lack of sleep. In high school, it may have been easy to get adequate sleep, but in college, it’s a bit more difficult. Combining independence and coursework does not bode well for the average student. The best advice I would give freshmen is to develop really good time management skills so you can get enough sleep. Although sometimes there may not be enough hours in any waking day to get enough done, getting the proper amount of rest time is just as important and being caught up with all your assignments.

Altogether, freshmen are culpable to a lot of common mistakes when first entering college. At UMass, I was guilty of committing some of these mistakes. Over time I was able to overcome and conquer them! To anyone entering freshman year, be sure to avoid these at all costs.



Life at UMass
Transitioning to College

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