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Helping College Freshman Avoid The Biggest 3 Mistakes

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The month of August is in full swing and that means school is about to start. If you’re an incoming freshman or parent of one, you’re in for a lot of new experiences.

As with any situation that requires a choice to be made, there’s an increased likelihood of making some mistakes.

CBS 11 News sat down with expert Christine Hassler to help you better avoid the top three mistakes made by college freshman.

“Going off to college is a huge transition [and] can be scary,” said Hassler, a life coach and author. “Freshman can make a lot of mistakes and a biggie is in finances.”

Hassler says mismanaging college finances is the number one mistake made by college freshman; unfortunately it’s a mistake that can haunt a person for years.

According to Hassler, 78-percent of college seniors move home after leaving school. But the reason the former and graduating students are making the move is because they can’t support themselves. But like a lot of things I this digital age, Hassler says there’s an app for that.

“With finances, it’s all about the apps. College students love their smartphones,” she said. “Get on a budget early. Mint.com has a great app.  You can track your spending, money going in [and] going out.”

To help young people better manage their finances Hassler also recommends opening a “Bluebird” account. Bluebird is a checking/debit account alternative that has no fees. The account also allows both students and parents to track spending. Students can either go online or use an app to deposit checks from their phone.

Students can log onto the MyCampusWall website and shop, swamp and sell directly with people on their college campus.

Hassler said the second big mistake made by freshmen is letting academic pressures and stress get them off track. “College freshman face a lot of academic pressure and there are two ways to react to that.  They either stress themselves out or procrastinate and fall really, really behind,” Hassler said.

Apps like Study Buddy help students track study time and actually tells them how focused they are.

The iProcrastinate app helps procrastinators keep organized and stay on track.

Finally, the free mobile app Quizlet offers a collection of study cards to help students.

We’ve covered finances and academics, Hassler said the third biggest mistake a freshman can make is not making and maintaining contacts. “Networking in college is first about making friends,” Hassler said, adding, “But those people you meet in college could become your colleagues or employers in the future.”

Hassler said students taking on the networking challenge will have to put down their computer and phone. She recommends that you go outside your comfort zone, strike up relationships with people outside of the dormitory and get to know people besides those you’re already acquainted with from high school.

It’s also suggested that incoming students attend freshman orientation and participate in extracurricular activities. Don’t forget to network with professors by taking advantage of their office hours.

Hassler says young people have to remember that it’s not about your freshman year, but getting started on your future. “The habits we set up in our 20s really set up a foundation. Why not get set up for a new start?”

For more advice from Christine Hassler, click here to log on to her website.

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