Below is a list of 5 common ideas that college students often have. Sometimes these ideas may seem good, even brilliant. In reality, these ideas are just plain horrible.

  • Getting a dog or cat with your housemates or roommates.

    This is a common mistake. While at school you may be missing your family’s furry companion, but getting a cat or dog at college is almost never a good solution. First of all, pets are almost never allowed in campus housing (service animals are probably the only exception). Good luck trying to hide a four-legged friend from your RA. If you live off campus, sharing the responsibility of a dog or cat among several people is bound to be complicated and cause rifts among friends. Cats and dogs require training and attention which can be difficult with busy college schedules. Most colleges students are also on tight budgets, which can make it difficult to afford extra costs such as pet food, vet visits, and the extra housing deposit for pets. Finally, remember that you are only in college for a short time, so when school is over how will it be decided which roommate keeps the pet?

  • Being roommates with your BFF.

    At first it may seem like a great idea to live with your very best friend in the world. What could go wrong? Well, a lot could go wrong. One of the worst things that could happen is that living together may cause enough damage to ruin your friendship. Being roommates with some one means you will spend a lot of time with that person in what is likely a very small space. It’s natural for roommates to set boundaries with each other in order to positively coexist. When your roommate is also your best friend it can sometimes be more difficult to both set boundaries and respect the boundaries.

  • Pulling an “all nighter.”

    This is a bad idea. Not only will an all nighter make you feel awful the next day, but it is also very damaging to your health and sleep cycles. Some studies show all nighters are associated with weight gain and emotional dis-regulation. Also, “cramming” all night for a test in the morning may not give you enough time to process the information, which means you likely won’t do as well on the test as you could have if you spaced out studying the information. In addition to a mediocre test, you will be too tired to effectively learn new information in your other classes that day.

  • Walking alone at night.

    Usually during your orientation to college, orientation leaders will likely talk about campus and neighborhood safety. However, many students forget to heed the warnings as the semester goes on, and get complacent. Also, safety devices such as whistles and pepper spray can give students a false sense of security. Don’t take the risk. Walk with a buddy, or find out if your school has security personnel who can escort students to dorms late at night or give rides to nearby off campus houses.

  • Assuming that a professor will let you make something up.

    You may have a really cool, nice professor, but always remember: You’re not in high school any more! If you miss a test because you are sick, your parents can’t write a note to excuse you. Make sure you read the syllabus, and understand the course policies. If you don’t understand something in the syllabus be sure to ask your professor for clarification. If you do miss a test or assignment because of extenuating circumstances, COMMUNICATE with your professor. You can ask to make up an assignment, and the sooner you communicate with them the better your odds are for being allowed to make it up. However, be aware that there is always a chance your instructor may just say, “tough luck.”