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10 Mistakes new college students may make

College is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Unfortunately, even students with the best intentions can undermine their own efforts. Dedicate yourself to making the most of your college experience right from the get-go by avoiding these top 10 mistakes new college students make far too often.

1. Failing to escape the high-school mindset

If you aced high school and expect to coast through college, it's time to readjust your outlook. Expectations are much higher in college, so not studying enough (or at all) can backfire in a major way.

2. Not learning to de-stress

When it comes to college, working too hard is as dangerous as not working hard enough. Avoid burn out by enjoying some down time now and again.

3. Choosing the wrong type of school

Did you let the allure of a big name school keep you from choosing a program that better suits you? Choosing your college is one of the most important decisions of your lifetime. Don't rush it!

4. Choosing (and settling for) the wrong major

It's common for students to put potential salary above suitability for their chosen career. Choose a discipline you really love and are happy doing; after all, you're likely going to dedicate a good chunk of your adult life to it. Don't settle, either--it's never too late to change majors.

5. Socializing too much

Who wants to wrestle with calculus when there are so many new college experiences to be had? Remember that your primary goal as a student is to succeed in your classes so that you can get a real (or better) career with plenty of paid vacation and the funds to enjoy it, which, we might add, beats beer pong any day of the week.

6. Not establishing a support system

Studies show that college stresses make many students prone to depression. When things get rough, enlist a shoulder to lean on.

7. Not staying organized

College can be a full-time job, even for students attending convenient online colleges. Keep the chaos to a minimum by investing in an organizer and comfortable, well stocked study nook. You get bonus points for keeping your desk clear.

8. Not getting help when they need it

If you're putting everything into a course but still struggling to keep your head above water, consider getting help. Make good use of your professor's office hours, class study groups, and your schools academic tutoring services.

9. Choosing a classic college diet (i.e. pizza and beer)

It can be difficult to maintain a healthy diet on a student budget, but that's no excuse for relying on fast food and frozen dinners (assuming you remember to eat at all). Eating well can improve your mood, your focus and your outlook on life. Stick to fresh produce, lean proteins, whole grains and lots of water. Also try to squeeze in common brain foods, like nuts, fish, blueberries, spinach and green tea.

10. Not getting enough sleep

Not getting enough shut-eye is one sure way to undermine your efforts. If you want to survive your classes, let alone your college career, make sleep a priority.

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