"Common Mistakes College Students Make"

Checking out every block party on every block on campus

Now that you are in college, you can go out and have a drink at night and, in some cases, set your own curfew. It is very important to be responsible and manage your time wisely. It is easy to be carried away when no one is there to monitor your activities. Of course, most dormitories have resident assistants that keep tabs on your activities, but not to the extent that your parents did.

It is very important for college students to stay focused on their education. True enough, you need a social outlet, but it is important to refrain from being caught up in the hype of fraternity or sorority parties, or any college parties for that matter. Almost every weekend, there will be a party or social event. You are responsible for keeping up your grades and maintaining a balance between your academic and social life. When friends knock on your door, inviting you to join them for drinks, kindly refuse—let them know you are studying. If they insist, just say no. You will have to pay the consequences for your failing grades.

Having a negative relationship with the instructor

Forgetting your instructor’s name, correcting his mistakes, and confronting him in a negative manner will rapidly get you nowhere. It helps to sit in the front of the class and at least appear attentive. Nodding your head and making eye contact with the instructor are always winning gestures. Most instructors take notice of this and are usually impressed. Many of them keep this in mind when deciding on whether to grant that extra point to turn a C into a B, or to make a failing grade a passing grade. The same political and interpersonal skill you adapt in college will be valuable in your professional life.

“Suffering in silence” when you don’t a clue what to do in the classroom

Many times, we spend a substantial amount of time studying and still fail. Each instructor has his own technique for grading papers. You should always start each class prepared to ask questions about the previous lecture or about what you read in your textbook. Make a list of questions when you review your notes and read your textbook.

Most instructors have office hours. These are the hours that they are available to assist you. During these hours, you may discuss with them your concerns about the subject you are studying or areas that you do not understand or cannot grasp. You can get help or advice, or both, in preparing for tests and writing term papers. Most instructors usually require that you schedule an appointment. Your instructor is there to help you, not watch you fail. Be proactive and present your concerns to your instructor on the front-end, not the back-end when it is too late.

© 2018 Dr. Pamela Jewell

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