College is a time for exploration and learning, and it's important that students focus their attention on the right things if they want to be successful. With the freedom that college brings, it can be tempting to try new things and develop habits that might not necessarily be helpful. Here are four behaviors that college students should try to avoid.

Don't Stay Up Too Late

Getting adequate sleep is one of the key elements in maintaining good health. When you're tired, it can be difficult to concentrate during class, let alone during independent studying. To make sure you're ready for each day, get to bed on time. Since classes can start at various times, "on time" can mean different things for different people. AASM recommends that adults get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. If you work backward from the time your first class begins, you can figure out when you should turn off the lights. Going to sleep at that same time, even on the weekends, will ensure that your body can get the rest it needs.

Don't Binge Drink

Drinking too much is more than just irresponsible; it can be dangerous for your health. This is especially the case when considering binge drinking. According to The Recovery Village, “over 30 million adults in the U.S. (approximately 15 percent) admit to binge drinking within the past month. Most of these drinkers are white males between the ages of 18 and 34. Forty percent of college students report episodes of binge drinking.” Why do so many binge drink in college? It may have to do with the party culture that's present at many universities as well as lack of oversight from other responsible adults. Note that this type of drinking brings about a much higher likelihood of incurring accidental injuries, doing poorly in school, and developing ongoing issues with alcohol. Further, binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning and potentially death. To avoid this habit, think about making friends with people who are interested in things other than drinking.

Don't Procrastinate

College professors often give assignments ahead of time, with some of the assignments being fairly involved. Instead of waiting until the last minute, map out a schedule for yourself to ensure that you can do a little bit at a time. The Authentic Path explains, “procrastination is a habit that can be hard to break, so try not to start out on this path if you can help it. Your health will benefit as well, since it's been linked to illness.”

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help

In college, there are resources all around, from tutors, older students and teaching assistants to professors and professional counselors. They're there to assist you, but you do have to take the first step and reach out. It can be better to make contact earlier in the semester rather than later, as you still have time to improve your grades. Office hours are a great way to begin.

You have the potential to do great things in college and beyond. Success is within reach, but you do have to think about your behaviors so that you can maximize your opportunities for growth.

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