I just wanted to take this time to reflect on some of my random thoughts about the future. After finishing up my final day of undergrad classes I have realized that you truly don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. Moving onto a “professional” career is the most terrifying things I have ever done.
Professors always set expectations for the class at the beginning of the semester, during the famous “SYLLABUS DAY”. And looking forward to my new hire orientation I expect some of the same things. Most of it will be boring, semi useless information that they have to cover simply for liability reasons. But I know that going into this step I will be expected to meet all deadlines and goals set by my superiors. Teachers typically understand when things happen and will give students some wiggle room. I don’t think the job world is like that. They are paying you to do certain things and if you aren’t capable, they will find someone else in a second. That terrifies me! Even though I am good at meeting deadlines and almost never put things off until the last minute…. I am still going into unknown territory. I know some of the tasks that I will be asked to complete and some of the things I need to do, but there is still so much that is unknown to me. What happens if I’m not capable of doing the things that they expect of me in the time frame they give me to complete it!!! I don’t want to be the reason our company fails…. It’s a lot of responsibility to take on as a young adult.
All of that aside, I can’t wait! I want the responsibility! I want the work! And I especially want the money because student loan payments are coming FAST! I think it’s normal and natural to be afraid. What will hopefully make me stand out and help me succeed is my excitement. Graduation is in a handful of days, and my future is all ahead of me!
“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”- Alice, Alice in Wonderland.
College is likely one of the most stressful things that people experience in their young adult lives. Some students come in with really high expectations about the social life aspect of college and fail to realize that there is still a school aspect. Once midterm exam grades come flowing in students FREAK… It can be a shock back into reality for some people. If midterms don’t get you down, there’s any mix of social events, school assignments, work hours, student org commitments, etc that can, and likely will stress you out. Moving away from home, learning how to balance money, scheduling your time properly, trying to be involved and have fun- all of it is a lot for students to balance. And that’s only as a freshman. Sophomore year comes quickly with choosing a major, getting involved with the right organizations, starting to build your resume. Junior year swoops in expecting an internship, making sure you’re in all the right classes, figuring out living arrangements, and then the very exciting senior year. GET A JOB, that pays well, that is in your area of study, starting to pay student loans…. And this is the short list for everything that piles on. So learning to stay positive is VERY important.
There are so many resources for students through universities to talk with people who can help you get through whatever might be going on. Talking with friends or professors when things get tough is super important to not getting in over your head. Bad things happen so making sure that your professors are aware, and your friends are up to date with your situation is key to having the understanding and support that you need to get through things. Going from high school to college can be a huge culture shock, just remember that it gets to the best people. There is ALWAYS a positive thing that can be found amongst the darkest times. Reminding yourself of the good things in your life will keep you going.
Keep feelings light and vibes positive. Always move forward, because the sun will rise in the morning and you will have a fresh start to a new day. Attack life with all your power and you’ll be surprised how much you can conquer.
I hear people make this statement all the time. When the going gets rough they just shrug it off and move on. They rationalize their poor performance by saying that it will do.
I think that most students say this as a front to hide their disappointment to their fellow students. And I really hope that this is the case… Because as a well performing college student I will tell you from personal experience-
YOUR GRADES MEAN EVERYTHING!
One C your first semester won’t break your GPA, but you need to understand that college is an investment and a commitment. Don’t go in without motivation to do well. The classes that you take your first two years are the prerequisites to the final years of your schooling. Many majors and minors require a certain GPA to allow you to declare and take specific classes. The school wants students who are serious and are willing to work hard. One slip up early on can seriously impede your ability to get into the classes you want/need.
Skipping classes, not turning in assignments, only spending 30 minutes studying…. These are all ingredients for failure. Some classes will be more important than others, some will require more work. So, I cannot stress how important it is at the beginning of each semester to sit down with your syllabuses from all your classes and figure out a tentative schedule that will work for you. Block out time each day/week for homework and studying. Most of the time professors make their assignments available far in advance so you can get started when it is convenient for you! If you get lucky and don’t have any work to get done use that time to organize your upcoming week, make notes for important events, clean out your desk drawers. Just get into the habit of sitting down, turning off your phone, logging out of Facebook, and focusing on school. That way it won’t be a huge shock when you have a big paper to do…or 4 big papers, 2 projects, and 3 tests to study for! It sounds like a waste of time but I did this right away my freshman year and I actually enjoyed the time to myself.
These are a few of my tips and the tricks that I have used over the years to be successful-
- USE A PLANNER- Mine is a weekly planner so that I can write things down on each day, I write notes about homework from each class and then I can cross them off when I finish them. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment.
- Sticky notes are awesome- make notes for what groceries you need, something you need to print off, etc.
- Find a pen/pencil that you like using- it will make taking notes slightly less painful
- Make study time a priority every week- it will pay off!
- Make study buddies in each of your classes that you can get together with before a test, to work on a big project or paper with. Setting these meeting times with classmates will hold you accountable to go and get work done!
I will graduate in 4 years. I will walk wearing honors cords. I will thank myself for the work that I put in. I will pay off my student loans knowing that I didn’t waste my time or money.
I don’t have all the answers. But I hope sharing my experience and what worked for me might help someone else be successful on their journey.
…because A’s and B’s will get my degree!