Don’t Abuse New College Freedom

What is one thing you couldn’t wait for when you got to college? What I remember my friends and I saying all the time was how we couldn’t wait to have freedom—the thought of not abiding by parent’s strict rules was more appealing than anything. But with freedom come responsibilities; and if you can’t keep up with those responsibilities, you’ll find yourself in unwanted predicaments. It’s tempting to rebel and retaliate rules you’ve followed for so long, but keeping it at a minimum is key.

Don’t go out all the time: No curfew to abide means partying all the time, right? Wrong. Sure, you can go out every night, but this will put you extremely behind in classes. One thing students love about college is not having anyone tell them where they can and can’t go, and what time they have to be home. This is by far my favorite part of the freedom college grants. But it sure didn’t take me long to realize going out Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights was not only unhealthy, but it affected my school work too. When you go out multiple times a week, there are many downsides: it’s expensive, the likelihood for getting in trouble doubles, it gets old really quick, and getting up for class is 10 times harder. Which leads me into my next point…

Don’t skip classes: This seems like a no-brainer but, it’s ironic how often students skip the one activity they’re actually here for. A big difference between high school and college is getting used to the fact that you don’t actually have to go to class. Many professors will never take attendance and put all their notes online, which makes some classes a free-pass for slackers. Little do these slackers realize how much professors go over in class that isn’t included in the notes. So don’t be the student that abuses this freedom to skip and do something that sounds more appealing—you’ll instantly regret it after getting your first midterm grade back.

Don’t lose contact with parents: It’s going to feel great to get out from under your parent’s roof, but don’t lose complete contact with them—after all, they’re the ones that raised you well enough to get into college! They’re excited for you to start this new journey and want to be with you every step of the way. I’m not saying to call them multiple times a day, but at least once or twice a week so they know you’re safe and doing well. Don’t be that student who calls just to ask for more money in their bank account.

Don’t eat everything in the caf: You mean I can eat whatever I want?! Yes…and no. Living in the dorms means access to a cafeteria. And this means the freedom to eat whatever is in sight. But just because you can load your tray with food from every culture possible doesn’t mean you should. The term “Freshman 15” isn’t just a term—it’s real and happens to many students. Having food access at any time of the day makes it easy to overeat, especially on unhealthy foods. Your parents taught you to eat your vegetables, and this is one habit that should carry over into college as well. It’s okay to indulge at the dessert bar every once in a while, but don’t make it a tradition after every meal.

Independence is great and you should embrace it all you can while in college. As long as you don’t go overboard with the partying, eating and skipping class, college should be a breeze. Just always remember: just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

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Jordyn Timpson

Jordyn Timpson

Jordyn Timpson is a junior at Michigan State University working towards her journalism degree with a specialization in documentary film. She designs and writes for a campus magazine and is a server at Bob Evans. When Jordyn has free time she likes to watch movies and her favorite show Breaking Bad, spend hours on tumblr, go on adventures with friends and travel.
Jordyn Timpson

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