College is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and many people look back fondly on their college years. Others, however, may not recall their time in school quite as nostalgically. So just what kinds of common mistakes would it be wise to avoid in college? Is doing poorly in a class a common experience? Definitely. Does your transcript have to reflect that? Nope. Students have life events, bad professors, or other factors that turn a great class into a potential "F" on their transcript.   You can avoid getting a failing grade, fortunately, while you may not be able to avoid a difficult or bad class. It's much easier to explain why you took 12 units one semester instead of the usual 16, for example, than it is to explain why you got an "F" in a particular course. Mistake #2: Making poor decisions around alcohol. You're in college because you're a smart, independent adult. So act like it. Drink and act responsibly in case you are of legal age. One bad decision can affect you -- and someone else's life -- forever. Don't drink and drive. Understand that "no" (or the inability to say "no") means there is no consent.

College mistakes to avoid

Make smart choices around how you treat your mind and body and expect the same of others. Mistake #3: Never having a roommate.Think life will be easier because you paid extra and pulled some strings so you always get a single? You might be right. Things might be easier. But you hopefully didn't go to school so that things would be easy.  Mistake #4: Not failing at something. Does this mean you have to fail a class (see #1)? Not at all. But not failing at something during your time in college -- e.g., losing an election, having a program be a total dud, completely messing up a research proposal -- means that you never took a risk where failure was an option. College should be about taking risks and learning about yourself and the world around you. And you are not trying hard enough if you aren't failing sometimes. Mistake #5: Not doing something you're terrified of. When you are 20 or even 50 years past your graduation, think about how you want to remember your college experience. Do you want to look back and be proud of how safe you played it? Or do you want to look back and grin a little at the silly things you sometimes did? Being scared of something new or different isn't a reason not to do it; it's a reason to do it. Conquer your fears by addressing them head on -- ideally while having some fun in the process. Challenging yourself to learn and grow and experience new things often means pushing through your comfort zone outside of the classroom, too. So get a roommate. Be a little uncomfortable. Learn what it's like to negotiate space with someone you never thought you had anything in common with.