Common Mistakes College Students Make, Part 4

Borrowing too much money

Do not borrow more money than the worth of your degree. Why borrow $100,000 when you plan on becoming an artist? You would be better off borrowing this amount for the purpose of pursuing a medical degree. With a career as a medical doctor, you will probably earn enough money to repay the loan in the future. You may or may not end up getting a full-time job as an artist. Yet, you will have to repay the loan. Be sure to track your debt.

Focusing too much on love and forgetting your grades

Maintaining a love relationship while simultaneously trying to keep up with your grades, your involvement in extracurricular activities, and your social life can be very stressful. College requires the balancing of all these activities. If your love relationship is not going very well, will it affect your academic success? Can you successfully keep the two separate, not allowing one to affect the other? Will academic struggles affect your love relationship? You are in college to earn a degree, not to fall in love. It is usually best to focus on the bottom line.

When you are involved in a love relationship, you will find yourself having to meet your partner’s demands. This can be very stressful when you are trying to meet the many demands of college. As a single person, you can prioritize your time based on what is important to you, not someone else.

Waiting until the last minute to check your financial aid package and running out of money

College is expensive. Every aspect of college is expensive—from tuition, books, and sports, to meals, fraternal organizations, and dating.

Many student centers offer employment opportunities for college students to work as tutors. This can be a great source of income.

Tuition and fees have risen dramatically over the past fifteen years. It is important to research all available forms of financial aid, including scholarships; grants; and possibly, loans. You may qualify for scholarships that you never even heard of. There are scholarships out there that are offered to the offspring of U.S. veterans, and the offspring of members of various social clubs.

Letting a disability get you down

Students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders are increasingly enrolling in two- and four-year colleges. Most colleges offer special services for students with disabilities, such as, help with study skills, organizational skills, and tutoring services. If you have one of these disorders, it is important to be fully knowledgeable about your learning style and how to compensate for deficits. You must also understand your strengths and weaknesses. It is important to inform student services and/or your counselor about your disability. Once this information is on record, accommodations will be put into place to help you succeed. Recent legislation (ADA-Americans with Disabilities Act) has made it easier to succeed in college regardless of a disability.

Letting Down your guard at college parties

Try to always remain cognizant of the fact that we live in high technology world. Cameras are small enough to be hidden in pens and doorknobs. Cellular phones are equipped with cameras, camcorders, and tape recorders. It is extremely important to closely examine what you say and do in public and to use prudence.

Joining a sorority or fraternity before it’s time

Greek organizations are a major social outlet for many college students. They provide students with social support and a sense of “brotherhood” and “sisterhood.” Many of them require that their members participate in community service activities that encourage civic-mindedness. This can result in a feeling of higher self-worth. Before taking the leap into Greek life, do a self-assessment. You should be confident in your ability to manage your grades, while handling the rigors of pledging in a sorority or fraternity.

© 2018 Dr. Pamela Jewell

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