*Written By Alexandra Pollak*
Whether you are going back to the same school or just transferred somewhere new, starting a new semester still means new opportunities and experiences. Even though this is only my second semester of college, I’ve learned so much about making the adjustment and navigating college thus far. While I still have so much more to discover throughout the next three and a half years, I gained a lot of useful knowledge last semester about college life that isn’t often discussed. Here are my seven tips about how to make the most of this semester!
- Be open to learning new things.
From the minute I started applying to colleges, I always thought I would major in marketing and probably minor in either history or political science, solely because those were my interests in high school. While picking my first semester schedule, I carefully selected courses related to my existing interests. I regret this. As cliche as it sounds, college is the time to step out of your comfort zone and discover new things. For this upcoming semester, I was sure to balance my schedule with courses I would not have picked this time last year. The worst case scenario is that I don’t love every class I’m taking. Even so, I then will know not to take another class of that subject matter.
- College friends are made at the most random places.
Talk to the person you randomly decided to sit next to in class. You literally never know when you are standing next to your future best friend because after all, everyone is looking to make new friends.
- Attend your classes.
There will always be distractions, but no matter how late you were up last night or if all of your friends are about to go get lunch together, don’t skip class. Even when the professor says attendance isn’t mandatory, attend the class and pay attention. Take every opportunity to help yourself, whether it is just listening in or actively participating. When you ace the assignment, you will be thrilled that you choose to attend the lecture. Ultimately, college is supposed to be filled with learning.
- While it’s much easier said than done, avoid procrastination.
Assignments with due dates two weeks out never feel as urgent as they should. Treating these long term assignments as if they are due sooner will only help as the work piles up over time. I like to use the app “Stickies” on Macbooks to write down upcoming assignments and their due dates. I delete assignments as they are completed, and I honestly would be so lost without this app.
- Take advantage of every opportunity to receive academic support
Whether you like to email the Teaching Assistant, attend office hours and campus tutoring, or form a study group, use your resources. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Use a calendar.
Especially at the beginning of the semester, it’s hard to always remember when and where each class takes place. I love Google Calendar, but any calendar system will be so helpful. There will always be so much happening at once, and it’s so easy to lose track of every event.
- , Make the most of every day and take things as they come.
It’s not always easy to navigate, but you can do it!