7 Bad Habits from High School That You Must Get Rid of In College

There are a few bad habits you need to get rid of before college.

Flickr user Jessica Cross

So you’ve aced your high school years, created a killer application and got a place at college. However, to make the most of it you need to get rid of some of the bad habits you may have developed during your high school years. They may not have been very serious back then, but in college, the stakes are higher. Here are seven bad habits from high school that you must absolutely get rid of in college:


Without parents breathing down your neck, it’s easy to become a world-class procrastinator at college. Browsing the internet, messaging friends, catching up on that 12-episode box set—you don’t have the same boundaries that you had at home so you need to exercise some restraint and impose limits yourself.

Going to Class Unprepared

At high school your teacher may have had a supply of paper and pens for forgetful students. At college, this is unlikely to be the case. You may be sitting in a lecture hall with hundreds of other students and your professor won’t be in their own room with resources at the ready. Take pens, paper, laptops or books to classes and lectures to avoid getting labelled as a flaky student.

Being a Wallflower

Some people are more introverted and others more extroverted. But if you’re to make your way in college, you really need to put yourself out there. You need to make new friends if you’re to have a good time, you need to socialize with classmates if you’re to establish useful study groups and you need to speak up in class to share and hone your thoughts on a particular subject. Don’t worry, there are lots of ways to make friends on campus!

Not Paying Attention in Class

At college, you need to take responsibility for your own learning. You or your parents are likely to be paying a lot for the privilege of a place at college. Don’t play with your phone in class. Don’t spend the hour doodling on your notepad. And don’t hold whispered conversations with your friends. You’ll regret it in the years to come.

Not Reading the Books Assigned

Maybe, if you were lucky, you could get away with skim reading a few of your texts at high school. At college, however, you’re expected to have a much deeper understanding of the topics you’re covering. Read the assigned texts before you go to the lectures and study sessions covering them. Otherwise, you’ll waste a lot of your own time as well as that of your professors.

Not Taking Care of Yourself

At home, you may rely on your parents to take care of you—to make sure you eat right and get enough sleep and get up on time in the morning. At college, all of that basic stuff is down to you. That includes bad habits like eating poorly or not sleeping enough. Eating and snacking on healthy foods gives your brain a boost so don’t resort to junk food at every turn. Get a reliable alarm clock and put it on the other side of your room if you tend to bang the snooze button and drift back off to sleep. And sure, you want to have a good time at college but you also need to study and you need to be well rested to do that effectively.

Not Being Pro-Active About Your Grades

You may have found you breezed through your high school subjects. Or already knew you had a great average and didn’t have to worry about the odd bad grade. At college, however, it’s always worth seeking extra feedback from your professors beyond the written notes you’ve been given. Arrange a meeting and get advice on how to improve your grades.

Your college years are likely to be lots of fun but they’ll also be academically challenging—that’s why you’re there! Focus on your studies, demonstrate good self-discipline and practice good time management. Most of all, banish your bad habits to get the best grades and the best college experience possible.

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