20 Bad High School Habits That Don't Belong in College

It can be a difficult transition from high school to college. However, you can make the process smoother by identifying and replacing bad habits. To prepare for college life, learn to keep the following behaviors in check.


1. Staying home sick when you're not ill.

Plenty of high school students make a habit of staying home when they're not actually sick. However, most college classes meet once or twice a week, and missing one session can drastically affect your grade. To avoid falling behind in college, only take time off when you're really not feeling well.

2. Phone play during classes and study time.

Checking text messages or e-mails during class is a major distraction that can prevent you from learning key concepts. Keep your phone off in the college classroom - you'll be more focused, and you'll avoid distracting your peers and professors as well.

3. Giving lame excuses.

Maybe you gave lame excuses for not turning in your homework or finishing a class project on time. While high school teachers may have given you the benefit of the doubt, broken printers and essay-hungry dogs won't work in college. You'll be treated like a responsible adult, which means adhering to due dates no matter what.

4. Doodling instead of taking notes.

Get in the habit of paying attention during class. Doodling instead of note-taking is a surefire way to fall behind and miss important class concepts.

5. Paying more attention to your friends than your instructors.

You may be tempted to socialize with friends during class, but doing so means missing valuable information during your professor's lecture. Wait until after class to talk to your friends.

6. Being the class clown.

The class clown routine is usually frowned upon in college. Many of your peers will view comedic behavior as an unwelcome distraction, particularly those paying out of their own pockets for a degree.

7. Not bothering to study for tests.

Cramming for a test or not studying at all will affect you negatively. Even if you feel pretty confident with certain class material, it's always wise to review your notes before taking a test.

8. Turning in messy assignments.

Have you ever turned in a paper with crumbled edges or even illegible writing, making it almost impossible for your teacher to read? Maybe you got away with it in high school, but college professors won't accept messy work no matter the excuse.

9. Relying on your teacher for pens and paper.

You may have relied on your high school teachers to provide you with paper or pens, but that's not the case in college. Professors don't have permanent classrooms, and they regularly move from room to room on a daily basis. Make sure your writing supplies are always close at hand.

10. Expecting teachers to remind you about missed homework assignments.

Did your high school teachers remind you about missing assignments after an absence? It doesn't work that way in college. It's your responsibility to ask professors what you missed. You may want to e-mail instructors when you're absent to request lecture notes.

11. Only skimming your readings.

It's important to prepare for college classes by reading the assigned text thoroughly - skimming won't cut it. You'll have a tough time participating in class if you haven't highlighted important concepts or jotted down key passages.

12. Going to class late.

Punctuality is important in college - some professors won't even allow you into the classroom if you're late. Get in the habit of showing up early or on time.

13. Leaving books at home because you don't feel like carrying them.

You'll need to bring all required materials to college classes. Professors typically don't have spare textbooks to lend, so avoid leaving yours in the dorm.

14. Having your parents be your alarm clock.

Maybe mom or dad was your personal alarm clock every morning, but that won't fly in college. Get an alarm clock and take responsibility for yourself.

15. Being unorganized.

High school could have been a structured haven for you with the help of teachers. However, you won't have teachers or parents to help you stay organized in college; you'll need to get organized on your own.

16. Being the quiet student in the back of the classroom.

Participating in class is a great way to engage with peers and professors alike. In fact, some teachers take class participation into account when determining final grades. Don't be afraid to raise your hand and speak up - your GPA might depend on it.

17. Don't save homework for the last minute.

Did you ever start writing a essay the night before it was due? Procrastinating only ends up hurting the quality of your work and, in turn, your grades. Learn how to manage your time wisely.

18. Thinking that you're the coolest kid in school.

The student population in college is much larger than in high school, and the cool or popular crowd is virtually nonexistent. Recognize that you're in a bigger pond now, and be open to meeting new people.

19. Worrying about your social life more than your academics.

Hanging out with friends may have been your priority in high school, rather than your academics. However, college is a serious academic commitment, and it's important to make sure your studies always come first.

20. Being a follower.

Don't follow, lead! College is the perfect place to discover who you are and take charge of your life, rather than follow in your peers' footsteps.

If you're a high school senior getting ready to start your freshman year of college, here are 50 things you need to know.

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