You can skip class and still pass.
Sitting in a lecture hall with 300 students may make you feel anonymous, but most professors do grade down because of attendance. Even if your professor posts all his notes and lectures online, there is a synergy that develops in the classroom that helps you absorb what you are learning. If you are not a morning person, schedule as many afternoon classes as possible. It is not your roommate’s responsibility to get you out of bed.
You can only buy books at the university bookstore.
Students typically spend $300 to $600 each quarter at the university bookstore. The trick to lowering costs is to arrive early and find a used copy that is not heavily marked up. Most textbooks are also available online, often for a third of the cost, while many can be downloaded or rented. If you must purchase new, sell your textbook to someone who will be taking the class. You can often get half your money back instead of the third you will receive from the bookstore.
It is okay to drop a class to protect your GPA.
An I (Incomplete) or W (Withdrawal) on your transcript will look better than a D or F, but dropping or withdrawing from a class is rarely a good idea. You literally throw away the time and money you invested in the course, and you may even forfeit some financial aid for failing to carry a minimum number of credits. Worst of all, you still have to make up the credits. If you need motivation, figure out how much you pay for each class. It is difficult to languish in bed all day when you know doing so costs $100.
You must choose a major right away.
The beauty of college is that you get to explore who you want to be. Most universities do not expect students to declare a major until junior year, and programs generally require special testing or portfolios to even enroll in courses. Spend your freshman year exploring every subject you find interesting so you can move forward confident in the choice you make.
Everyone gains the Freshman 15.
If you are relying on the school cafeteria, pay attention to the posted nutrition facts, stay away from midnight pizza orders and take advantage of the campus workout facilities. Since you are likely walking several miles each day between your dorm and classes, you should be able to stave off most of the Freshman 15 if you are mindful of what you consume, particularly alcohol.
Your grades are your business.
Schools typically send quarterly grades to your home address. If you fail a class, your parents may even receive an academic probation letter.
Professors hold you accountable.
In college, the only person responsible for how you live your life is you. Professions will not hand out extensions, offer extra credit or understand if your dog ate your homework. Some professors may offer an extension in exchange for dropping your grade one letter. While you may need this breathing room in pinch, be careful not to abuse the privilege.
There is no harm in signing up for free credit cards.
A free T-shirt, a colorful Frisbee or a spin on the prize wheel is tempting, but the most important thing you can do to prepare for your future is to steer clear of the dozens of credit card offers thrown at college freshman.
You can only make friends if you go Greek.
Joining a sorority or fraternity is an incredible way to get involved and make lifelong friends, but the Greek system is just one of many activities offered on college campuses. Your first friends will be the people who live in your dorm and peers enrolled in the same classes. Student government, multicultural clubs, intramural sports and on-campus internships will also introduce you to a colorful assortment of people.
You will lose touch with your high school friends.
The first few months of college life is a whirlwind as you settle into the groove of independence. Facebook certainly makes it easy to keep in touch with your high school buddies, but you should call them at least once a month to catch up. For something a little more personal, drop them a funny postcard in the mail.