Tips for the First Semester of College

 

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Obviously I am no expert on college, but I’d say I have learned a thing or two to pass along. My first semester wasn’t too bad. I performed well in school, made some great friends, and got involved in a couple activities I plan on continuing throughout my undergraduate years. So here are a few lessons I learned to have a great first semester.

1// Make the first move

Making friends can be hard, especially if you are going to a school where you don’t know anyone going in with you. But the easiest way to put yourself out there is to make the first move. Ask someone to lunch, invite someone to study with you, propose coffee with someone, etc. Chances are, there are plenty of people in the same position just waiting to be asked to hang out. Everyone needs a lunch buddy!

2// Prioritize

This can be tricky, especially with so many options for the different ways to spend your time. I made it a point to put my classes above my social life but I put mental sanity above everything and sometimes that meant taking a break and hanging out with friends. It’s all about balance! It can be hard to choose between doing all the different things the new environment has to offer, however you have to decide what is most important and what can wait.

3// Don’t be afraid to go to a meeting alone

There are so many different opportunities and sometimes taking advantage of those means going to an introductory meeting alone. I know in high school it would take some serious mental preparation before I could go to a meeting where I didn’t have a friend with me. I found that every meeting can be a good way to get to know more people and get involved in something new!

4// Join something

This goes along with number three in that you have to go to meetings in order to get involved in something. But keep in mind that college is not like high school where it is so easy and encouraged to get involved in every single club and hold every single leadership position possible. In college it’s best to just choose one or two things to devote your time to because as I found out, the classwork takes up a good chunk of time, making it hard to devote more time to extracurriculars.

5// Talk to your professors

Believe it or not, they want to help you and after every discussion I had with my professors, I felt more confident and better off. I discovered that as scary as it can be to talk to a professor, in the end they are the ones determining your grade so it can be helpful for them to see you are actually putting an effort into the class and desire to learn and grow.

As I said, I’m still learning and working towards a successful college career. However, these are a few of the things I found to be most important in finding my place in a new college life.

Let me know what helped you in your first semester of college and feel free to email me with suggestions for content you all want to see!!

xo Carolyn

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Study Tips

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As finals and exams are coming just around the corner, I have found myself spending more and more time studying.  By my last year in high school, I believe I have found some great ways to study that not only work for me, but could apply to any studying situation.

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ONE// Start Studying Early

There’s nothing worse than cramming for a test.  Yes, sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, however if you let it come to cramming for every test, you are going to end up being more stressed out and frantic.  If you know you have a big test coming up, studying a little bit every night will help more than you realize.

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TWO// Study Harder Not Longer

Sometimes it is worse to study in a distracting setting for three hours than it would have been to just sit down and study hard for half an hour.  It can be amazing how much you are able to learn in just a short period of time when you are completely focused on that one thing you are trying to learn.

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THREE// Stay Organized

Organization can be the biggest help in studying.  If all your notes are organized you know exactly what you need to study.  Also, if you keep your schedule organized you will stay aware of important dates coming up so tests and exams can’t creep up on you.

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FOUR// Take Breaks

You don’t want to fry your brain with four hours straight studying.  I try to set up rewards for myself at different intervals.  For example after every thirty minutes of studying I let myself get up, check my phone, and take a break for the next ten minutes before getting back to studying.  Sometimes those little breaks can help a lot

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FIVE// Move Around

According to research, you are more likely to forget information if you only study it in one location.  So take your notes away from your desk and go outside or try another area of your house or a local coffee shop to get the information to stick better.

Studying can be the hardest and most stressful part of school if you let it.  So take these tips and develop your own study habits to keep your grades up with as little stress as possible!

xo Carolyn