It is that time of the year again. Colleges are filled and students are geared up for their new found freedom. Worried parents are flocking from place to place to ensure their child’s safety. Apprehensive students are biting nails and making their decisions. There’s speculation over what to do and what not to do. Amidst the confusion, we bring you ten common mistakes freshers make. This is what you should absolutely not do!
10. Going overboard
So in order to fit in, you wear the prettiest clothes, the latest fashion labels and make sure your dad’s pocket becomes five times lighter than usual. And then you enter college – looking like you’re straight out of the mall? That is bad. In today’s world, it won’t be wrong to say that people judge a book by its cover but it’s not the only thing that makes a person. Your personality, your attitude is what helps you gets noticed. Make a mark for yourself by proving your worth in meaningful ways and then see how easily you fit in.
9. Being the underdog
The other mistake – make yourself invisible. It is alright to be a scholar but being just a scholar only gets you a degree. In college, even teachers are looking for those who make their presence felt, participate and enjoy. Goes without saying that if you keep a really low profile, your social life will go for a ride or worse, never exist at all. Social life doesn’t mean bling and tags. Just communicating with a couple of people every day on meaningful topics is a nice thing to have.
8. Joining multiple societies
As a fresher, you feel like you’ve got so much talent to flaunt. You want to become an all-in-one rockstar. This is not half bad an idea except it requires you to be in ten places at once. School was different where you could try out different things and be a different person each time. In college, it is important to focus on one thing and commit to it. The idea is to excel in whatever you’re doing. Multi-tasking is definitely the worst way to do it. Take up one thing and give it all your devotion. Who knows how it might reward you?
7. College is easy
Everyone keeps saying the same thing. “Finish high school and then you’re free.” “Oh college is cake-walk!” Hell, no! Remember, you’re ultimately studying. There’s no reason why you should extend the limits of your freedom at the expense of your grades. Attending college and studying is as important as hanging out with friends. Screwing with this is screwing with your life and that’s not why you joined college! Take it easy but don’t ever say ‘laters’ to your books. They’re your most prized possession after all.
6. Ignoring your seniors
So you are very cool, the know-it-all and you don’t need anyone’s help as such. You walk through the corridors not even bothering to greet people and you don’t participate in departmental activities. But you go flocking to your seniors when you need the notes. Mark these words: they will be pissed at you and they will be wary of treating you nicely because they know that once your work is done, you’ll be AWOL. Respect them and reap the benefits. In no way does this mean you treat them like Gods. But it is always a better idea to maintain a senior-junior friendship and maintain your self-esteem at the same time.
5. Eating out
Don’t get me wrong – eating out is total fun. But overdoing it isn’t. Are you taking to college everyday a huge wad of cash ready to be splurged on the best food outlets around your college? Uh-huh, be ready for your parents to disown you. It’s not just about the huge amounts of money you spend eating the best Italian or Mediterranean cuisine. You also start avoiding homemade food – the real food that gives nourishment to your body. Your insides are filled with junk food and all you want to do is stuff in more. It is even worse for outstation students who don’t get home-made delicacies at all. The idea is to have fun without ruining your body. So before you grab that scrumptious Chicken McGrill third day in a row, stop and think.
4. Turning a blind eye to ragging
Even before you enter college, a lot of your friends tell you that ragging is a cool thing to do. Nowadays, seniors have made it polite – they ask whether you want to be ragged and go ahead with it only if you say yes. But here’s the catch: you have to say no! Ragging is equivalent to humiliation. Since everyone has their own limits, no one person can decide what humiliation means for the other person. So whatever your seniors might consider ‘friendly’ may not be so comfortable for you. Don’t let it go as an incident that doesn’t matter. Once you’re subject to humiliation, anyone can make you do the same things or use it to your disadvantage later in life. Remember, coolness on one side and self-esteem on the other. In fact, it’s not just about yourself. If you see someone else being ragged, you must take notice and stand-up. Ignoring someone else’s plight is even worse.
3. Going home too often
There can’t be a better cook than your mom and you lived for that food. Now that you have to leave it, you can’t help but look back. So you go home ten days out of five! Not done. There are many disadvantages to going back home often. You don’t get used to the campus. You keep getting more homesick. You’re wasting time and money on unnecessary travel. You ignore attendance issues and important classes to have the warm lap of your mom. It is not an absolute wrong to desire that, after all you leave your favorite place on earth. Every child who leaves home gets homesick. But letting it get the better of you helps no one. Even your parents will get very worried if you create too much drama. Stay as much as you can, familiarize yourself and keep memories of your wonderful home. You’re out there in the world and use it to your advantage!
2. Making the BFF promises
You just met them and you’re already declaring your love on social networks? That’s the worst move you could make. How much can you possibly know in a week? When more traits are unveiled, more secrets unraveled and real life is encountered, all pretenses goes to hell and you could really hate that person, leaving you with embarrassing old status updates and lovey-dovey pictures that you posted right after you met them. Keep it simple, take time to understand people. Don’t go overboard with your love for these new found friends. This is not to say that those few days could also mean you both (or however many) cannot have a healthy friendship but just give it time to grow. Just because you have Facebook doesn’t mean you have to tell the world everything!
1. Making your decisions according to your new set of friends
This was wrong in school, this is wrong in college and this will be wrong in the future wherever you decide to go. Your friends are your friends in good times and bad times, they are people who make your days happy but they are not people you will spend the rest of your life with. You have to look after yourself first. Imagine joining a class just because your new friends joined in and hating the subject? You have wasted your time, money and a seat that could have benefited someone else. Besides, if you take decisions based on them, where is your self-esteem!