Lessons from a Second Semester Senior

As I write this, I am about to embark on my final semester of my college career. Weird, right? It almost seems like yesterday when I was a little freshman moving in to my dorm. Except for the growth part, a lot has changed in these three and a half years. I’ve learned the hardships of picking the right classes and managing my social life and my studies, but it was all worth the ride. It’s cliché, but some say that college is the best four years of your life, and it’s true. They go by in the blink of an eye, so take the time to cherish your college life.
1. Make a Bucket List
While it should be on nearly all seniors’ to-do lists, making a bucket list at the beginning of your college career can help you get to know your campus a lot better. Who knows? If you accidentally stumble upon one of your campus’ landmarks, you not only knocked something off “the list”, but have a great story to go along with it. If your school has a great basketball team, sit in the student section and go to a basketball game. The student section of a sports game has its own little bubble, and that’s where all the excitement is. Whatever is on your list, don’t miss out and start making it happen.
2. Take Advantage of Campus Resources
The thing about college is that it offers a variety of resources that very few students actually take advantage of. From coffee houses with free Wifi to free entry to recreation centers, free printing, and basically anything with the word FREE next to it, be sure to snatch up these opportunities now before you have to pay for the real thing once you enter the real world. Syllabus week is the best time to get freebies from bookstores, so don’t miss out!
3. Learn How to Balance Academics and Activities
This is a pretty simple rule to follow, but sometimes, a freshman’s first semester can get a little out of hand. You’re on your own for the first time without Mom and Dad deciding your every move, so it’s up to you to determine if you’re going to that 10 a.m. class or if you’re going to go out every night. Here’s a handy tip: Go to all of your classes during syllabus week. While you should be attending them all semester long, this way, you can decide whether it’s worth dragging yourself out of bed every morning. And while it’s fun to go out, know your limits and know your deadlines. Don’t go out the night before you have an exam, and instead of pulling all-nighters and cramming, study for an hour a day until you have the material down. Studies have shown that you retain more information the longer you study. Plus, you can still have free time to do whatever else you want.
4. Go to Your Professor’s Office Hours
Like the rule before it, this is another handy tip for freshmen. If you’re stuck on an issue or don’t understand the material from lecture, go to your professor’s office hours as soon as you notice a problem. Professors have taken an hour out of their day to meet with students to help them succeed in the class, so it’s harmless to take an hour out of your day, too. Plus, if you go early on, you can get to know the professor and see what a future exam might be like, and if you take the time to meet with the professor, chances are if you’re on the border for a grade, he or she will bump you up.
5. Have Fun!
Simple and easy. The opportunity to be a young undergraduate only comes once, so live it up to the fullest!

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