The 10 Biggest Mistakes You Can Make During Your First Semester Of College

There’s no right way to go through your first year of college, and making mistakes can sometimes be a positive part of the experience.

However, it’s always good to hear some advice from people who have already been through it.

We’ve discovered a few Reddit threads where people reflected on some of their biggest mistakes and regrets from college. A lot of the comments provide great guidance on the best way to navigate and balance the various changes that come with going away to school.

Here are some of the best pieces of advice:

1) Don’t stick with a major you hate just because of potential job prospects

“Spending three years in a major I hated because everyone had told me it would ensure a steady job and good income (pharmacy). Dropped out, worked my arse off as an electrician’s bitch for a couple years, paid my parents back for my mistake, reapplied to mechanical engineering and couldn’t be happier.” — Dstanding
2) Don’t mix up your priorities — a social life is important, but so are classes

“I wish I had been more responsible with my drinking, and been hungover in class less. I would have taken in and retained so much more information.” — winewings
3) Don’t say no to any extracurriculars, you might discover something you love

“That i didn’t get more involved early on. Im a just finishing my junior year and i just recently joined some clubs and made good friends at work. I think back to all the time i squandered my first two years. Finally im having some fun, right before i graduate.” — The_Wac
“Not involving myself in an acting group early. I joined them in my final year of university and had an amazing time, but not enough to make some proper friends. If you’re handed a sheet and you go, ‘Meh, I might try it,’ I urge you. Do it. You won’t know what you like until you do – and the people you meet will be enthusiastic.” — Paladin_Girl

4) Don’t waste your free time, because after graduation you’ll have much less

“I wish I used the extra time I had more productively. You never have the days off and ‘spare’ time you will have when you begin full time work, ever again. Start getting fit, learning an instrument or perfecting your literacy now!” — APLKonnect
5) Don’t believe that college is just about studying — it’s ok to cut loose every once in a while (or more than once in a while)

“I wish I’d partied more. I had stellar grades the whole way through but it hampered my ability to meet new people. I only started getting out and meeting some really awesome folks in my third to last semester.” — hunglikeanewok
“I wish I had drank and partied more. I’m sitting on a couple of med school acceptances right now, and I’m honestly not sure how much that would have changed had a I spent a few more nights where I could barely stand, or in bed with someone slightly less than attractive.” — soup–nazi

6) Don’t ignore the resources around you, especially professors

“My big regret is not getting to know my professors. 6 years later I’m looking at grad school, and it’s going to be really hard without a stellar recommendation from one of them.” — theshrewd
7) Don’t write anything off immediately, college is a time for change

“I’m currently a junior, but my one regret in college is not being a part of Greek life. I didn’t join a house freshman year for various reasons, but my personality and values have since changed. Looking back, I believe that being in Greek life, especially at my university, would have been an awesome experience.” — gat45
8) Don’t forget about the people back home

“I wish I found the time to maintain friendships from school with those who went to different universities.” — eaz135
9) Don’t feel pressured to find your lifelong partner — sometimes it’s better to be single

“Falling in love. University is a great time to experiment and practise your social/flirting skills. I ended up in a relationship within three months of starting and the relationship ended about 9 months after I graduated (making it a 4 1/2 year relationship). I’m now playing catch-up in (re)learning how to meet and date women.” — Martman1989

10) Don’t sit around at home — even mundane activities can have meaning

“If you have the option to go out and do anything (grocery store, errands whatever) with your friends, go do it. Don’t stay home. You won’t always have time to talk to your friends later.” — CakeofTruth

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