As I begin my junior year of college, I reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the first half of my college career. While I am nowhere near completion of my college career because I still have medical school after the completion of my undergraduate degree, I do have a few pieces of advice on making the most of your college career and how to make things a little easier for you.
1. Get to know someone in each one of your classes.
You will miss class. Make a friend in each class so that you can get notes. Also, it comes in handy during exams so that you have friends to study with. It also comes in handy when you have any questions about the material you cover.
2. Don't skip class.
My freshman year, I thought it was a good idea to skip class. I ended up having to retake a class or two because my attendance caused me to fail. Maybe you will miss important information from a lecture or you will have points taken off due to poor attendance. Either way, you will succeed in a class if you do attend it.
3. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Your professors are there for your benefit. Your advisors are there for your benefit. Go to office hours, ask for tips on how the professor would study for an exam, ask for clarification on something from lecture. Go to the advising office, ask for clubs and organizations within your major, ask for success tips. The staff is there to make sure that you pass and reach your goals.
4. Live a healthy lifestyle.
The freshman fifteen is real (even at West Virginia University with the Life Science stairs). You will begin to notice around midterms that your diet and exercise has slacked off. Make exercise a daily habit. And use unhealthy snacks as a reward for an A or as a treat once a week.
Welcome to college! You are going to pull all-nighters. You're going to go out with your friends. You're going to have early classes. Eventually, the blood running through your veins is going to be replaced by coffee or some other form of caffeine.
6. Take advantage of the library and the private rooms available for study groups.
Dorms and apartments are noisy. It's your best bet to go to the libaray so that you can get your work done.
7. Quality over quantity.
This applies to everything.
8. Take breaks often.
Don't write an essay or study for seven hours. Believe me, I have done it. You will get so much more done and stay much more motivated if you take breaks every hour.
9. Find clubs and organizations to join.
You will make friends with the same interests. You will have a hobby. You will find something you are passionate about. You will build your resume. You will fine your place at the school. Whether this be with creative writing, art, sports, Greek life, or something within your major, you should find something within your interest.
10. Take advantage of anything your school sponsors.
Concerts, cookouts, dances. Take a break from the books and find something to do. Go with your friends and enjoy yourself. Don't make it all work and no play.
11. You are ready.
You've made it. College starts soon. You've got this.
12. Make the most of it.
Join clubs and organizations. Participate in research. Show your school spirit at all of the events on campus. Work hard to get the best grades possible. Meet new people. Go greek. Find your place on campus.