24 Mistakes Every Freshman Makes in the First Month of College

by John Boone 11:30 AM PDT, September 29, 2014
Photo: ET

College is for learning. And even if you new froshes of the 2014-2015 school year haven’t learned a damn thing in your PSYCH 101 class yet, here are 24 mistakes you’ve certainly learned from in your first month:

1. Scheduling a Discussion Section on Friday.

In college, the weekend officially starts on Thursday. There is nothing you’ll want to do less on Friday morning than sit in a room and talk about biology or whatever with your T.A.

2. Scheduling ANY Classes on Friday.

Best to keep it Tuesday through Thursday, if possible.

3. Wearing Your Student ID on a Lanyard Around Your Neck.

The easiest way to be picked out as a freshman is to wear your ID and your keys on your college-issued lanyard, jinglin’ and janglin’ as you run around campus. Nobody does that. Put them in your backpack like a human being.

4. Assuming All Gen Ed Classes Are “Rocks for Jocks.”

Spend a little time looking into the rando classes you’re signing up for. You might think you’re taking a blow-off science class only to discover that it’s basically Rocks for Actual Geologists. (But if you walk in the first day and see a bunch of football players, you’re probably OK. No offense to football players.)

5. Sitting in the Front Row of That Giant Lecture.

If you sit in the front row on your first day, your professor will expect you to sit in the front row every day. Forever. And if you don’t, you will have to explain why. You don’t need that kind of pressure in your life.

6. Buying Your Books From the Bookstore.

Pro tip: You probably don’t need to buy any books, if you go to your lectures and pay attention. You definitely don’t need to buy the book if your professor wrote it. Either way, you’re not going to get any money selling them back at the end of the year. Just a heads up.

7. Not Buying a Bike Lock.

Though sometimes even that won’t help.

8. Thinking Your Long Distance Relationship Will Last.

Spoiler alert: You and your high school BF/GF are going to break up. (Most likely. Probably. Right? Let’s be real here.) You don’t want to waste those first few precious weeks of college tethered to your cell, waiting to make that “goodnight” phone call.

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9. Trying to Talk to Your High School Friends Every Day.

By all means, give each other the Skype tour of your dorm room (guess what?! They all look the same). SnapChat when you’re both out at parties at the same time. But you both need to spend your time making new friends, or you’ll miss what’s going on around you. Give each other some space. Don’t worry: You’ll fall back into your routine during Christmas break.

10. Thinking Your Roommate Will be Your BFF.

They might not. Sometimes it’s better that way too.

11. Thinking You’ll Use All That Stuff From IKEA.

Alternatively titled, “So You Think You’re Actually Going to Use Those Wicker Magazine Racks and Chinese Hanging Lamps?” It’s fun to buy all the cute kitschy knickknacks and whoozits and whatzits from IKEA to decorate your very first dorm room, but remember: You have to pack that all up and move it somewhere at the end of the year. You’ll probably choose to throw most of it out instead.

12. Hanging Pictures on the Wall With Sticky Putty.

It will NEVER come off. Never.

13. Thinking the Library Is Only for Studying.

For one: It’s also a place to take selfies. Or to be endlessly distracted by weirdos. But the library is probably just as social as anywhere else on campus. You think all those groups of friends who rent out the study rooms are quietly studying? If you want to study — like, seriously study — better to just stay in your dorm room.

14. Being Scared of Your R.A.

Your resident advisor is just another student who wants free housing. They don’t want to get you in trouble, because that is more work for them. Be cool, and they will be cool. And sometimes they’ll give you free food too.

15. Being Scared of Your T.A.

Your teacher’s assistant is just a student who needed a work study job for financial aid. As long as you don’t go out of your way to piss them off, they won’t take their revenge while grading your papers.

16. Learning the Cost of Booze the Hard Way.

A handle of vodka does not cost $40. Whoever bought that for you lied to you. (Also, you shouldn’t be drinking if you’re not 21 and can’t buy alcohol yourself. It’s illegal. And we have to say that.)

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17. Everything About Getting a Fake ID.

You’re friend’s friend’s older sister’s roommate’s brother from Canada is going to rip you off. So once you spend that $125 for a “good” fake I.D. (“It cost more because it scans and black lights”) you’re still going to get turned away from bars.

18. Playing Beer Pong in a Frat House.

It may look fun. You may be tempted. It will be, guaranteed, disgusting.

19. Going to the Gym on Saturday Morning.

After going out Friday night? You’re going to regret that in 3...2...1...

20. Thinking You’ll Never Get Sick of Dorm Food.

Pizza EVERY day?! A salad bar? You can have French fries AND fried shrimp?! Depending how bougie you are (or are not), the cafeteria may seem like paradise, but trust, the day will come when you wish you weren’t eating the same pasta and red sauce every day.

21. Skipping Breakfast on the Weekends.

You’re hungover. You don’t want to get out of bed, let alone walk all the way to the mess hall. You’ll just eat a Kind bar on the couch later, right? WRONG. Most cafeterias save the best breakfast for the weekend. Some even have a custom omelet bar. They know what’s up.

22. Laundry.

So you’ve never done laundry before. No problem. After you turn all your whites red, shrink your nice shirts, and flood the laundry room once or twice, you’ll figure it out.

23. Being Facebook Friends With Your Parents.

You can refriend them in 4 years. They don’t need to see everything you’re tagged in right now. You’re not being mean, you’re actually being considerate of them. Otherwise they’d worry.

24. Ignoring the Old People Who Tell You These Will Be the Best Years of Your Life.

Because eventually you will be old person telling college kids these are the best years of their life. And you won’t know where the time went. At least, that’s what happened to us. Live it up, young’ns. Enjoy it while it lasts.