Starting something new always requires a certain amount of fear. Fear of the future, fear of the unknown, and fear of how to make it happen. College is definitely no different. Here are some of the things I learned in my first semester of college, and some things that I wished I would have done differently.
What I Learned During My First Semester of College
- It is absolutely possible to work while going to school. I was really nervous about this one, because I am awful at time management. However, I received pretty good grades this semester, all while working at a school to make extra money and gain experience in the education field. Luckily, I was surrounded by teachers who could give me advice, and help out with that last minute paper or exam.
- Skipping class is okay, but making it a habit is not. I only had one class this semester that didn’t take attendance, and sometimes I found it easier for me to study independently for the tests when my professor posted the notes. I rarely ever did this, but it did help me get back on track if I was struggling to keep up in the class. However, the day of the final, at least 20 people I had never seen before came into the class to take the test. All of them walked out without a single clue about anything on the exam. I was definitely glad I wasn’t one of them.
- Joining clubs and organizations is key. This semester, I joined a sorority, and it has given me the opportunity to meet people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Getting social on campus, attending meetings, and being a part of something other than just your classes is a great way to network with other people, and makes a huge difference in the long run.
- Talking to other people in your classes is important. To piggyback off my last point, I utilized this tip in each of my classes, and it paid off in so many ways. Not only was I meeting people that I had a lot in common with, but I was also getting help on assignments that I would have had a hard time with on my own. I even made a few good friends that I hang out with outside of class as well!
- Getting to know your professors is always a good idea. In one of my classes in particular, this helped me so much. I have always struggled in math, and so I knew I would need extra help with succeeding and passing the class. After meeting with my teacher throughout the week after class to go over assignments, and ask for suggestions on various things, I felt more confident in doing the work. Bonus: When my grade was just 1% away from the next letter grade up, she bumped it for me!
What I Wished I Would Have Done Differently
- Focused on friends and family more. I feel like studying and work are good excuses for not being able to hang out all the time, but I did feel a huge pull away from the people who mean the most to me. Time management has always been a struggle for me, so next semester, I will focus more on maintaining these relationships, while also making sure my work is done.
- Researched different policies on how college really works. Long story short, I thought I dropped a class when I really didn’t because I didn’t know the policies. Now my GPA is suffering, and I have to pay for a class that I only attended once. Not fun. I know it’ll all work out in the end, and that sometimes learning a lesson the hard way is the best way, but it was super frustrating.
- Not spent so much money on food and coffee. When you’re in college, the easiest thing to do is grab something quick and fast. However, that can be a little rough on your wallet. I wish that I would have brought my lunch, or made coffee at home more. I’m definitely planning on doing that this semester.
- Gone to even more social events. I know I said before that I did a really good job of coming out of my comfort zone, but this upcoming semester, I will be doing more of that. I even want to include some of the friends that I have made through other social events, and old ones as well.
- Used my planner better. At the beginning of the school year, I bought a beautiful new Kate Spade planner, and realized halfway through the semester, it just wasn’t for me. I didn’t keep up with it like I should have. I invested in an Erin Condren planner for the new semester, and I’m excited to start filling it out!
That is what I learned in my first semester of college! Is there anything that you hope to accomplish in the new year? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to follow me on my social media!