Additional contributors: Danny Cochran, JeVaughn Martin, and Antoine Peterson
Contrary to popular belief, college is not the same as high school. Many new students enter colleges and universities every year believing that the same bad habits they kept in high school will work in college. Here are my top high school habits that college students should avoid.
Cramming for tests
The amount of information that you need to retain for a test will never be learned in one all- night session. Plan accordingly. Get a tutor if you have to, they are free.
It is never a good idea to skip, no matter how big or small your class is. College provides enough free time already; is it really necessary to skip classes that costs thousands of dollars per semester.
Not reading or note taking
Attempting to absorb information via osmosis will not work. It is necessary to be deliberate in your learning; otherwise you are wasting time and money.
Not asking the instructor questions during the class
If you want to know the answer you need to ask the question. Professors cannot read minds. If you do not ask questions they assume you understand the information.
Being the class clown
The only thing that will happen here is that the professor will clown you. I have seen students called out in classes before because rowdy behavior. You run the risk of being removed from a particular section of a class permanently.
Building friendships and spending lots of time with certain individuals is ok. When the group becomes exclusive you become a clique. Building walls of separation can be dangerous for your long-term personal growth. You will miss out on potential friendships, relationships, and professional opportunities by insulating yourself.
Almost everyone has heard of the “Freshman 15”. Undisciplined eating, not working out, and other reckless behavior can lead to a quick downfall in your health. This can lead to poor self-esteem, medical issues, and poor academic performance.
A good reputation can be ruined with one mistake. A bad reputation takes a long time to clean up. The types of friendships and relationships you have will feed into your reputation.
Smoking marijuana or any other illegal substance
You can shout “Legalize it” all day long. This is not the time to make a political statement. You will likely end up in jail or prison depending on what and how much you are carrying. On the bright side, you will have plenty of new friends, three meals a day, free health care, and a large recreational area.
Going to the extreme with extracurricular activities
Having no extracurricular activities can lead to dissatisfaction with your college life. Having too much focus on extracurricular activities can lead to poor academic performance. Find an appropriate balance with in and out of classroom activities.
Some of you may not have participated in any of these habits. In any event, I would encourage you to examine yourself and eliminate those behaviors that will prevent you from having an excellent college experience, academically and socially.
Aim for a healthy academic and social life. Here are a few on campus individuals that are helpful in achieving academic and social balance: academic advisors, resident assistants, financial aid counselors, career development counselors, and multicultural affairs representatives. Faculty, staff, and student leaders are there to help you succeed. Never be afraid to ask for help. Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need help in navigating your college career at any time.