50 Mistakes College Students Make

Last updated on November 27, 2017

It’s alright to make some mistakes, as long as you learn from them. College is a time to adapt to your world and adapt your worldview to best serve you. However, there are mistakes that can be irreparable if you don’t watch your step. With that in mind, here is a list of 50 mistakes that are common among college students.

  1. Spend dollars to save pennies
  2. Rack-up huge credit card debts
  3. Fail to network
  4. Fail to get involved in campus organizations (also, see #3)
  5. Don’t parlay short-term failure into long-term success
  6. Drop a project at the first roadblock
  7. Spend more time socializing than studying
  8. Turn down learning experiences to party, or worse, to do repetitive school work—you’re in college to learn, even if you don’t make a good grade
  9. Let one mistake ruin an entire experience
  10. Trust people you shouldn’t
  11. Judge a book by it’s cover
  12. Shun someone over nothing
  13. Don’t start a savings account
  14. Treat financial aid as income or inheritance
  15. Don’t accept internships
  16. Believe that good enough, is good enough
  17. Get all A’s in all classes—this smacks to some potential employers as a dangerous perfectionist who might fall apart at the first sign of failure (see #s 6 and 9)
  18. Make too many enemies
  19. Don’t make any enemies—this means you’re probably not doing anything significant
  20. Buy stocks or gamble on credit
  21. Take a non-relevant paying job over a relevant non-paying internship
  22. Fail to see college as an investment
  23. Pass on opportunities to gain exposure and resume-building experience
  24. Fail to write and build a resume
  25. Fail to learn how to write well and persuasively
  26. Don’t step outside the box of their racial, ethnic, or social class
  27. Fail to differentiate their views from that of their parents or guardians
  28. Disagree with someone based upon superficial reasons
  29. Agree with someone based on superficial reasons
  30. Confuse alcohol with therapy
  31. Fail to take advantage of all the tools available for your academic, cognitive, personal, and professional development
  32. Don’t talk to someone of a different background than themselves
  33. Become too fanatical about a cause or idea—you’re in college to explore new possibilities
  34. Let stress break you
  35. Become a perfectionist
  36. Become a slacker
  37. Do only what is expected of you an no more
  38. Fail to cultivate an interest or passion
  39. Choose a degree or career based totally on the money you believe you can make in that career
  40. Don’t enjoy your college experience
  41. Believe themselves above improvement in any respect
  42. Buy gold—it’s an awful investment… If gold were so valuable, why would gold sellers so willingly part with their precious, precious gold for your worthless money?
  43. Do anything based on fear—it doesn’t pay off in the long run
  44. Fail to start building a career while still in college
  45. Avail themselves of opportunities to travel while educating themselves—Cancun doesn’t count!
  46. Don’t give someone the benefit of the doubt
  47. Move in with someone without giving the relationship (whether friendship or a romantic entanglement) significant time to develop
  48. Fail to see potential in themselves and others
  49. Don’t take care of their physical and psychological health
  50. Go at it all alone—this website and many, many others are hear to help you make the most of your college career.


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