Thirty-Seven High-Risk Behaviors

that can easily sink your college career:


  1. Working too many hours / Over-scheduling yourself / Bad time management / Trying to fit too many things in a day / Not leaving yourself plenty of time to read and study / Not having a plan "B" for when they change your work hours or ask you to work overtime.

  2. Overspending / Debt / The credit card trap / "Shopping therapy" / Bad budgeting / No budgeting / Running out of money .

  3. Parents, household members, spouse or significant other not 100% supportive of your being at UTEP or not understanding what college is all about / Not having a plan "B" if your family backing unexpectedly dries up, if they decide on the spur of the moment that they need to move out of town, or if other unexpected family crises occur while you are enrolled.

  4. Relying on unreliable transportation to get to class / Not having a transportation plan "B" for when you have car problems or if your ride doesn't show up / Not bothering to consider transportation arrangements for after class hours or for special events on or off campus when necessary.

  5. Approaching college with an “Entertain me!” attitude / Being just part of the audience in your classes rather than a member of UTEP.

  6. Bringing personal, family and household issues to college instead of leaving them at home  / Not having a plan "B" for when your child gets sick, or if a childcare or elder-care provider lets you down.

  7. Having a shaky, chaotic, unstable, conflictive or unsafe home life when you go home / Tolerating domestic abuse or violence / High-risk or poisonous emotional, intimate or domestic relationships / Trying to deal with a messy divorce, separation or child custody while enrolled in classes.

  8. Regular or frequent intoxication, alone or with others / Binge drinking / Uncontrolled alcoholism / Illegal substance use / Coming to class drunk, “high,” “stoned,” hung over, or with a buzz on.

  9. Inappropriate sexual behavior / Unprotected or intoxicated sex / Promiscuity / Unexpected pregnancy / Getting someone pregnant / VD-STD’s / Not having a plan "B" in case you unexpectedly come up pregnant, or if your wife, lover, or a casual sex partner unexpectedly finds herself pregnant.

  10. Letting work or readings pile up / Cramming / Procrastination / Leaving assignments to the last minute / Not having a plan "B"  for catching up just in case you ever get significantly behind in your schoolwork.

  11. Cheating / Plagiarism / Buying papers online or from other students / Not having a plan "B" for when you can't get an assignment in on time or simply don't understand it.

  12. Still seeing yourself as a "kid" instead of an adult / Going through college with an "I hate school" attitude, or as though you were serving some kind of a sentence / Being stuck in a high-school type "me vs. the teacher" attitude.

  13. Choosing a major that is not your major passion / Repeated changes of major/ Drifting passively through school instead of grabbing control of your own education.

  14. Roommate / apartment-mate / landlord problems /conflicts.

  15. Spending too much time on the phone, texting, or online with friends, classmates, family or lovers.

  16. Keeping an exclusive or too narrow focus on your major, or on one single personal interest, activity or goal (sports or coaching, music, athletics, dance, writing, drama, fashion design, programming, netware, computer graphics or game design, etc.) with no time, interest or tolerance for any other subjects or activities. 

  17. High-risk or aggressive driving / intoxicated driving / Euro-driving / talking on the phone or texting while driving.

  18. Keeping late hours / Not enough sleep / Excess TV viewing / All-nighters / Reserving your best hours for work and play, leaving your studies for last, when you are dog-tired.. Oversleeping for morning classes.

  19. Absenteeism / Scheduling routine medical and dental appointments during class hours as a good "excuse" to be absent or so as not to miss any work hours / Being careful to use up every allowable class absence during the semester / Missing class to travel home during the semester to go along on family vacations, reunions, trips or adventures.

  20. Always trying to find the easiest and most fun classes and easiest prof’s instead of focusing on what you need to take / Registering for 20+ credits each semester and then dropping all the classes that look hard or boring or where you don't like the professor / Dropping classes as soon as they start demanding serious study.

  21. Focusing exclusively on grades and exams instead of what you can learn in classes / “Cram and dump” learning / Always going to the professor to plead or bargain for that extra point instead of earning the grade fair-and-square / Being proud of your GPA instead of what you have learned.

  22. Not seeing studies as your #1 job while enrolled / Lack of identification with and pride in the University / Not self-identifying as a college student as one of your primary identities / Never stepping onto campus except for classes / Always rushing home right after classes, never staying back for study, research or fun.

  23. Inattention in class / Nodding off or sleeping in class / Texting or e-mailing in class / Studying or doing homework for one class during another class

  24. Primarily concentrating on making social or professional contacts or on finding girlfriends / boyfriends / sex partners instead of on classwork.

  25. BS’ing your way through / Being proud of  always succeeding in your classes with the least possible reading, writing, thinking or learning / "Putting something over" on your professors.

  26. Trying to keep up a long-distance engagement, marriage or intimate relationship going while in college / Premature engagement or marriage while enrolled in college.

  27. Lack of exercise / Significant weight gain or loss / Overeating / “The Freshman 15”/ The Ramen Diet / The fast food diet.

  28. Anorexia / Bulimia / Eating disorders / Self-injury / Cutting / Burning / Self harm / Untreated depression.

  29. Isolating yourself / Going it alone / Withdrawing / Dwelling on your own homesickness instead of engaging whole-heartedly with UTEP and making friends here / Choosing to hang out exclusively with old high school friends, “homies” and extended family instead of seeking new friends and broadening your horizons.

  30. Devoting too much time to gaming / Facebook / Twitter / texting , instead of schoolwork.

  31. Spending too much time and energy on rebelling against parents, family, injustice, discrimination, or society in general,  or on  “making a statement” (personal, social, cultural , musical, religious, racial, political or sexual) instead of  studying.

  32. Feeling sorry for yourself / Bitterness / Resentment / Anger / Self-hatred / Lack of self esteem. 

  33. Ongoing, repeated or unnecessary conflict with professors, other students, or the University itself / Walking around UTEP with an "I don't take s**t from no one" attitude.

  34. Kissing-up / Trying to succeed by befriending, flattering or even flirting with prof’s instead of by studying.

  35. Over-committing to campus clubs, teams, organizations, frats and sororities, music, sports, dance, church, etc. instead of classwork.

  36. Failure to keep up physical health, including nutrition, dental, vision, hearing, etc.

  37. Failure to be aware of possible problems with mental or emotional health, including culture-shock  / Insomnia / Self-medication / Crying yourself to sleep every night / Being afraid to ask for help.


OW Rev 8/11 

For educational purposes only.


The University of Texas at El Paso - 500 W. University Ave. - El Paso, TX 79968

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