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09/04/2013 11:26 am ET Updated Sep 04, 2013

5 Freshman Year Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

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By Nicole Knoebel

Oh, freshman year. It's the most exciting time of your life! You can wipe away your high school past with a new group of friends and completely recreate yourself. You can stay out as late as you want and eat as many desserts as you want without parents nagging. And no one is around to tell you not to leave that 10-page paper to the last possible minute, so you can procrastinate as much as you want. The world is your oyster, and every decision is exclusively yours to make!

But beware, collegiettes -– this newfound freedom can lead to some mistakes. With so much independence, you’re bound to make a misstep somewhere along the line. But Her Campus has your back! We asked collegiettes to share their freshman year regrets to help you learn from their mistakes.

1. Losing the balance between your college life and your home life.

One of the most common problems collegiettes have during their freshman year is trying to balance all the new relationships in their life. With new friends at college, old friends back home, families trying to check in and an overload of schoolwork piling up on your desk, it’s hard to give everything and everyone the attention they need. Remember that even with all the excitement on campus, Mom and Dad need some time with you, too.

“I think my biggest mistake… was not keeping in contact with my parents and home friends as much,” says Anna, a junior at Marist College. “It's so easy to get carried away at school, especially with your new friends, difficult classes and weekend activities. Mom and Dad need a little reassurance that you're alive [and] well and still love them.”

Luckily, there’s an easy fix here. Set aside time once a week to give the parental units a quick phone call. There’s no need for a lengthy Skype chat; just give them the chance to hear about what's going on at school. Your going away to college is an adjustment for them too, and they’ll be excited to share in your new accomplishments at school. Collegiette or not, you’ll always be their little girl.

2. Prioritizing your social life over your schoolwork.

In college, the pressure to do well in class and make friends outside the classroom can lead to time management mistakes. Do you stay home and study, or do you head out to the frat party with the girls down the hall from you?

“When you first get to school and you want to make friends and you want to go out, you have to keep in mind that you do have schoolwork,” says Meghan, a junior at Iona College. “I wanted to go out and not miss anything. But your friends will always be there, and you need to learn to balance school and your social life.”

You can avoid feeling panicked during a test that you didn’t study for because you were too busy having fun by allotting yourself certain nights to go out a week. Plan out what nights you can hit the town and which you need to stay in to study by checking your syllabus ahead of time for assignments and tests. Tell your friends you would love to spend time with them, but you really need to write a paper that night. And you can always grab a couple of people from your classes and head over to the library for a study session –- coffee and gossip breaks are bound to lead to friendship!

Click here to read the full story on HerCampus.com.

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