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The Anti-Bucket List: Things to Avoid in College

stressed student

To help you get acclimated for your first year of college we have put together an anti-bucket list, a list of things to NOT do in college. By now you are surely familiar with the concept of a bucket list—a list of dreams or ambitions you want to accomplish before you “kick the bucket”—well this list is the opposite of that. Through trial and error we have figured out some things you should absolutely avoid as a student and have given our advice on how to combat it. We hope you have a fantastic freshman year and keep our advice fresh in your mind for your first semester.

1. Be afraid of your professor.

Sometimes talking to your professor can feel like an overwhelming chore. But one of the best ways to succeed in college is to not have anxiety when it comes to talking with your professor. Some professors are happy to take drop-ins during their office hours, but you can also email them to make an appointment. It’s to your advantage to get to know your professors (the earlier in the semester, the better!) and to utilize their office hours.

2. Gain the freshmen 15.

With all-you-can-eat meal swipes, 2 a.m. pizza, burritos, and "coffee" (a.k.a.20-ounce coffee-flavored milkshakes) around every corner, students are susceptible to picking up bad eating habits and gaining weight. Be proactive to prevent this! The gym provides chances to meet new people plus awesome group fitness classes with friendly instructors. The Johnson Center even has a rock wall! Nutritionist’s can help you develop a healthy diet that provides the body with sufficient protein, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and adequate calories.

3. Stress out.

Do homework early and often to avoid stressing too hard over school. Procrastination is the curse of all college students, so get your homework done early so you can experience college the way you want to! To get away from likely distractions, try going to study-friendly environments, such as libraries, quiet coffee shops, or The Study. Find a place where you can focus and be productive. A pro tip would be to buy an agenda. An agenda will allow you to be more focused on your goals and help you manage your time more effectively.

4. Waste tons of money.

Take full advantage of your meal plan, free stuff on campus during K Week and student discounts. You’d be surprised by how many establishments offer discounts to students, so it never hurts to ask. It’s easy to just flash your student ID and automatically save money.

5. Mentally check out.

Your classes are important, even though you might not be interested in all of them. Be positive and remember that the class isn’t going to last forever. The information in these classes may not seem relevant today, but it may come in handy down the road. Your professor will remember you favorably when it counts (like when you need a reference), if you do seem interested in the material. Try sitting in the front of the class to avoid losing focus.

6. Don’t find yourself.

School is important, but don’t forget to have fun. There are so many awesome things to do on and off campus, so get out there! College is a time to follow your curiosity, build knowledge and learn more about yourself. It’s important to be open-minded to prepare for your future. Step outside of your box. Discover UK, there are so many different places to see in Lexington. Make a change from your routine and go explore or even find new places to eat. College is a great time to travel the world. So if you want to study abroad, start planning as soon as possible.

7. Don’t read the syllabus.

The syllabus is basically a contract that your professor made for you. Your professor will expect you to read and understand the material on the syllabus. Reading the syllabus could be the difference between passing and failing. The syllabus is the roadmap of a course and your guide to succeeding in that class. It is your responsibility to read it and understand the requirements outlined. If you aren’t sure about something in the syllabus, clarify it with your professor. It’s a great opportunity to make the first visit to your professor during office hours.

8. Skip class.

Don’t miss class just because you don't want to be there. You have paid a lot to go to class, so GO! Yes, walking to class when it’s raining or snowing is not how everyone wants to start their morning, but remember why you came to college in the first place. Most classes can be really interesting with the right mindset. Be excited to learn!

9. Be afraid of missing out.

The fear of missing out is a common issue, but remember that it's ok to have a night by yourself. Remind yourself that you will have many other opportunities to get out. You may find yourself getting homesick the first couple of months and that’s normal. Focus on meeting new people and making new friends when you can. If you don’t feel like going out, don’t. You have four years

10. Constantly stress about your roommate.

Whether you have a college-assigned roommate or a roommate that you chose, focus on starting out on the right food. Set up ground rules and follow them. If you have any problems, try talking to your roommate! Also talk to your resident advisor! They can just offer a listening ear or help mediate if need be.

11. Pull an all-nighter.

Studies show that students work better when they have a good night of sleep. Pulling all-nighters is a sign that you might lack crucial time management skills. Colleges sometimes provide seminars that can help students with time management, like the Study Smarter Seminar at UK. By utilizing services provided on campus, you can learn the tools to help start your first semester out on the right foot by like being proactive with your course work.

12. Walk around campus alone at night.

UK is a safe campus, but don't put yourself in harm's way. Use Safecats or the CATS bus shuttle—both free resources—or at least travel along the Cat's Path. In case of emergency, be sure to have UKPD (859) 257-UKPD (8573) ready on your cell phone.