5 Mistakes You Should Make When You're in College


5 mistakes to make in collegeCongratulations! You made it into your college of choice. Or, just ... your college. Regardless, there will be plenty of people telling you how to make the most of those four years so you can exit with a degree, multiple impressive internships, and a job offer in your back pocket.

That's not what I'm here to tell you.

College is a time to learn, absolutely. And you should make the most out of those four+ years. But you're going to want to learn about yourself, your fellow co-eds, your favorite liquor, and especially how to live on your own without mom or dad stepping in and fighting your battles.

The best way to accomplish these lofty goals? Go against the grain.

Here are the 5 mistakes you should make when you're in college:

1) Don't worry about your grades.

In high school you're conditioned to fret over your GPA, and you should. Just so you can get into college, where the worrying should stop and the learning should begin. If you show up to your class, pay attention and do the required reading -- you're soaking in knowledge. The key here is, of course, paying attention. Learning is about awareness. Cramming the night before exams just so you can get a good grade isn't teaching you jack. Don't do it. (If you're on scholarship or in danger of flunking out, please ignore this advice.)

2) Do skip class.

Sometimes, as Tom Cruise in Risky Business says, you've just gotta say, "What the f***." However, when you skip that 8:30 a.m. Freshmen Comp class, spend it with a great novel, or at a museum. This is the only time in your life when you have control over your schedule and you can luxuriously read every Paul Auster novel in a row. If that means you miss a lecture, so be it.

3) Don't join a fraternity or sorority.

Sure fraternity brothers and sorority sisters can be a source of "great contacts" once you're out in the real world. But so can the guy you worked with at the movie theater. Cultivate friendships that aren't pre-made for you, and look just like you. Expand your horizons, instead of keeping them safe, and under the same roof.

4) Do fall in love. Repeatedly.

College is the last opportunity you will have to be surrounded by people in your own age group on this scale. Sure there's online dating and the office staff. But real in-the-flesh, possibly inebriated hotness you can grab on to for the night, the semester, or what the heck, your entire freshman year? That's a rarity you should take full advantage of -- while using protection.

5) Don't go home for the holidays.

Even if your laundry is piling up, even if your mom is crying and your grandmother is preparing your favorite chess pie for Thanksgiving. Stick one (or eight) of those holiday breaks out with other solo students. Crashing on floors and creating your own adult holiday meal by yourself or with other loner friends is a perfect way to dip your toes into the loveliness of adulthood.


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asmcb... asmcbride

The only thing on that list that is anywhere near a good idea is skipping the sorority. As a recent college grade, I can tell you that the rest of that is just screwing yourself over.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Ummmmm.....did you even go to college?  Don't worry about your grades and skip class?  Unless of course you're in danger of flunking out....which one would be, if your advice was followed.....

sstepph sstepph

I skipped a few classes. You have to have fun when you are in college or you will look back and realize you should have done this.

I dont think she is saying SKIP CLASS ALWAYS.. skip a few, UNLESS your going to fail, then go to class.


MomIWant MomIWant

I like your list and for the most part (not the skip class or not come home to see me on the holidays part) it is advice I have given to my own. It would break my heart if they didn't come home for the holidays!!! LOL

nonmember avatar Nancy

I'm a financial aid counselor at a small college and all I can say to #1 & #2 is no, No, NO!

Most college kids think it won't hurt once or twice. But then it turns into 10 or more times and then they're facing academic probation (or worse - severance!) and loss of financial aid... And these things aren't just a quick fix and can haunt them for all their subsequent years making finishing school darn near impossible.

For students who are generally on their own for the first time without mom and dad to make sure they do homework and keep up on their studies, telling them not to worry about it is just plain DUMB!

jeann... jeannesager

Did you notice she said pay attention, yadda, yadda when she said don't pay attention to your grades? She said learn for the sake of learning -- not because it will give you a 4.0. In high school kids are trained to focus on the number -- so much so that they're losing the love of learning.


This is rather silly,  IMO.

Lokis... LokisMama

Ok, all the actual mistakes aside...what the heck is chess pie?

clean... cleanaturalady

Is this satire?  That is the only way it makes sense to me.

tonya... tonyalynn

i skipped class to much

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