Tag Archives | mistakes

Image by COD Newsroom, Flickr

Image by COD Newsroom, Flickr

Being a freshman is a vital point in your collegiate life. The first year of your college career will serve as a preparatory stage in determining your ability to succeed on the level of higher education. It is not unusual for a freshman to make mistakes, but fortunately, learning from others can help you avoid the costly mistakes that can jeopardize your chances of getting a degree in your field of interest. Let’s take a look at 5 freshman mistakes you are bound to make:

Procrastination is a freshman’s worst enemy. It can prevent you from accomplishing important tasks within a reasonable amount of time. Managing your time properly is the key to neutralizing procrastination – you can always get help from your professors or a campus tutor if you are struggling to stay on top of your assignments.

Oversleeping is probably one of the biggest reasons freshmen miss their morning classes. There is a strong possibility that you will oversleep at least one time during the semester. This normally happens when you stay up too late. Investing in a battery-operated alarm clock (and keeping it out of reach if you’ve got a habit of turning it off half-asleep) can help you wake up on time.

Failing to Prioritize
For some students, going to college is a golden opportunity to live on their own for the first time. The temptation to attend big parties and neglect school work will loom over your head. Managing your time properly becomes crucial as you balance your school work, extracurricular activities, and social life. Additionally, you could find yourself in trouble if you become a party animal your first year of college. Not only is the excessive alcohol consumption commonly found at college parties bad for your health — it could lead to driving under the influence and a subsequent DUI conviction. If you’re under the age of twenty-one, as many freshmen are, according to attorney J. Lee Webb you could face additional charges related to the possession of alcohol. The wisest thing to do is stay clear of parties, especially before you reach legal drinking age. Small get-togethers with your closest friends can be even more fun than the big parties. Remember why you enrolled in college – to get a degree.

Credit Cards
Many credit card companies and retailers target freshmen. Don’t be surprised if you get several credit card applications in the mail during your freshman year. Although credit cards are ideal for substitute payments, they can create financial troubles if not used wisely.

Before applying for one, you must understand that a credit card cannot be viewed as free money. You are entering into a legal agreement that will require you to repay the money you spend. You will be responsible for covering the interest if you fail to repay the outstanding balance on time. Talk to your parents before applying for a credit card, and remember that a debit card is a solid option that can help you stay out of debt.

A couple of dates and parties during the week will reduce your study time tremendously. Cramming for an exam may seem like a good idea, but it can hinder your chances of getting a high mark on your exams. You should devote at least three hours of your daily time to studying or completing school work. This approach will help you retain information better instead of trying to absorb as much as possible mere hours before a test.

Life as a college freshman is exciting. Although we’re all likely to make some mistakes during first year, following the tips above can help you overcome these mistakes with ease.

This article was contributed by guest author Emma Sturgis.

Image by Philip Taylor PT on Flickr

Image by Philip Taylor PT on Flickr

Credit cards are a great way to make purchases, if you’re careful. Some credit cards offer reward points, cashback, discounts, extended warranties and other perks to help make the most out of your money. However, there are also risks associated with using these cards. From identity theft to an unpaid balance, credit cards can put you in a lot of trouble. Here are some tips on how to steer clear of common credit card mistakes:

  • Spend what you can afford. This may be a no-brainer but some people tend to forget how much money they actually have when their credit limit is really high. If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it!
  • Keep track of all of your spending. Not only will it help you make smarter purchase decisions and cut down on excessive spending but it will also help you when you’re a victim of identity theft.
  • Keep your card safe. Identity theft is a huge issue and if you’re not careful, it can cost you greatly. Avoid suspicious websites and giving your credit card information to others.
  • Avoid annual fees. Don’t be blinded by promises of reward points and cashback when they also have a hefty annual fee. The price of the annual fee might end up cancelling out the price of all the rewards you’ve earned. There are plenty of other cards that offer these rewards with no additional annual fee.
  • Avoid making interest payments. In other words, pay off your balance in full each month. Paying the minimum each month may be enough to satisfy the credit card company, but it will also prolong and increase your debt. Especially since interest rates are really high on student credit cards (approximately 19%-20%), this can make it even harder to pay off that debt.
  • Don’t get one if you don’t think you’re ready. The whole purpose of getting a credit card as a student is to establish good credit history. If you are unable to pay your balance, this is going to hinder your ability to meet future financial goals. You need good credit to help make purchases like a car or a home in the future so be careful with your card!
  • Choose wisely. Don’t apply for the first credit card you see. Research different credit cards before choosing one. Check out our article comparing different student credit cards for help.

Check out this video on some more common credit card mistakes and how you can avoid them: