Things I've Learned From My First Semester In College
Start writing a post
Student Life

Things I've Learned From My First Semester In College

It's been a rough semester, and there are several things I now know I should never do again.

Things I've Learned From My First Semester In College
Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

As my first semester in college comes to an end, I wish there was some way I could rewind to August 26th and redo it knowing what I know now about what I'm like as a student. College really requires you to know your capabilities as a student. Online classes have been really draining and hard to keep up with for me, both because of the sheer amount of content I struggled to learn and because of the constant loneliness that plagued me as I studied alone in my room from before the sunrise to the early morning hours. For anyone out there who may have felt the same way, I want to share a few of my realizations that I hope to improve as this semester closes out and a new one approaches.

1. Know your boundaries.

I've always heard that pre-meds need to have extracurriculars that demonstrate what they are passionate about, both within and outside the field of science. With this in mind, I ended up joining too many extracurricular activities. I filled up my plate too quickly at the beginning of the semester when my classes were still easy (relative to now) and when I still had a lot of energy. It quickly and effectively burnt me out by the middle of the semester, and now I'm just struggling to finish off the semester to the best of my ability. Choose maybe just one or two new clubs to join and devote some of your time to—and don't be afraid to decline when someone new invites you to something. You know yourself and what you need the best, so if you know you can't handle it, take a step back and don't force yourself to do more.

2. Studying can get lonely, so try to find a study group!

For a good chunk of the semester, I found myself struggling to find the will to sit at my desk after a grueling day of lectures and continue to grind out work for assignments or upcoming tests. Fortunately, I was able to make friends in one of my smaller classes and in a cultural club who were willing to study with me over Discord. Making new friends hasn't been easy in the remote learning environment, but I'm thankful that someone decided to reach out and befriend me. I've appreciated this more and more as the semester continued—even though I don't necessarily share classes or majors with these friends, just being able to see them on a call studying by my side was enough to encourage me to keep going.

3. Utilize your resources, and know when (and how) you work best.

Something I'm guilty of not doing enough of this semester is going to office hours to get help with concepts that I struggled with. Maybe it was a result of how awkward it felt to have to have one-on-one Zoom calls with professors and TAs I have yet to meet in person, but the fact still stands that they are there to help us learn. I will do my best to attend office hours next semester, especially for the classes I struggle with more. I also tried to force myself to learn a new "study routine" where I would wake up early and try to sleep early. This ended up being really counterproductive, especially since I know that I tend to be more productive at night. I also ended up chronically tired because I would try to force myself to work in between classes and then continue to work at night after classes. It felt like I never got a break, and I would end up running out of energy to study the next day. Instead of trying to fit an idealized routine, identify your strengths and best productive hours and use them to your advantage!

As the semester wraps up, I wish us all the best of luck with finals, and please take care of yourselves moving forward.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments