Ah, finally the sound of freedom. Summer is now here! Or well, it has been for awhile! Although it makes me overjoyed, the feeling of knowing I did not try as I should have first semester kills me – which is why I feel more at ease to give incoming college students pieces of advice for their first year.
1. Attending your safety school does not mean you can slack off and procrastinate like hell.
Honestly, I didn’t really have a safety school when I applied because I felt that there was no point in applying to a school that I don’t even have the desire to attend. In fact, my dream school was actually the one of the few schools that I applied to which was not much of a reach. I was relieved knowing I got accepted into a prestigious program, but as I entered the first semester, I conceitedly thought that since I got into the school, which many say is actually “easy” to get into, I could slack off.
Every program is different, but in my specific program, I had to get a 2.7 math and science GPA by the end of three years or else I wouldn’t be able to advance to graduate school. You are probably thinking, a 2.7 GPA is such a breeze to get. Not at all! In reality, with my mindset, even a 2.7 commutative GPA was difficult! Of course, it might have been that I have been a major procrastinator since forever.
Thank god I decided to get my act together during second semester. I created my schedule so that it would be more challenging, which would give me the instinct to study and pay attention more.
2. Sleep is good, but use those alarms.
Being in college for me felt ecstatic because I was always babied in the family. In college, I was finally able to be independent, even with me living an hour away from home. I finally was able to sleep later than 12am (without getting in trouble) and wake up later than 8am during the weekends. After all, dorming in college is just like an ultra-big sleepover! However, I soon realized sleeping that late was horrible for my studies especially if I can’t hear my alarm to wake up! Even power naps were horrible since I would oversleep and eventually I would not go to my afternoon classes.
Now that I know my tendency to sleep at almost anytime, I programmed multiple alarms on my phone for those early mornings. Also, I have multiple alarms throughout the day in case I sleep during the day as well (for when I need to wake up & when I have to leave my room to make it to class).
3. Remember you are in college for a reason.
Everyone wants good grades. However, people today are too concerned with getting the grade than actually learning the material. To be honest, I was one of them. I would cram last minute, just trying to memorize the material without actually trying to understand it. After all, it worked throughout my whole high school career so why wouldn’t it work now? Unfortunately, college class exams are not as “easy” as high school exams. One biology exam may cover as much as 8 chapters and as you can guess, there is no way one night (& all-nighter) to cram everything into this brain of mine.
During my spring semester, I would actually take the time to plan the weeks before a big exam. Which day would I go over this section, this chapter? Oh, this day, I’m going to write at least one page of my ten page paper. Soon, everything became more manageable, even if it was still hectic as before.
I think everyone has a lazy side to them, but in college, I believe that every student should get rid of that side, or at least be lazy to a smaller extent. After all, who wants a horrible start to their college career?!?