By now, it’s almost the end of March, which seems crazy, because that means that there are only about 2 months of school left! Even though classes have been difficult, this year has been extremely enjoyable. For this entry, instead of updating you on my various classes and activities, I thought that I would make a list of things that I have learned thus far into my college experience.
- You are forced to balance between academics, sleep, and a social life, and more often than not, one of these three has to be left out. It’s difficult at times to choose sleep and studying first because there are distractions everywhere but it’s most important to study hard and maintain your health.
- Stay organized and start early. It really helps you prepare for exams/papers when your class notes and handouts are all in order. It also helps if you review your notes right after class so that you start learning the material well before the test.
- Don’t get caught up in doing things just because everyone else is doing them. Do what feels right for you.
- Be friendly to everyone. Especially at Holy Cross, the campus is very small and you will see people from your class in your dorm building and in the dining hall all the time. Get to know the people in your hallway too. It’s nice to foster a sense of community where you live, even if you don’t want to be friends with everyone.
- Participate in class. Most teachers devote a percentage of your final grade to participation, or if not, most expect valued participation. Even if it doesn’t count for a grade, still try to engage in discussion during class. It helps you understand the material better and opens your mind to new ideas.
- Take care of yourself! This is in line with number one, but it’s really important that you value your health and well-being. I was sick for about 65% of first semester, mostly because I didn’t eat a balanced diet or get enough sleep at night. Once I started getting proper nutrients and sleeping more, I automatically felt better. Plus, being sick creates extra unwanted stress.
- Try not to stress out. I know that the volume of work can be difficult, but stressing out over tests and papers doesn’t accomplish anything. It’s normal to be nervous before a big exam, but if you find yourself getting psyched out, take a deep breath and attack the work calmly.
- Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Maybe he/she finished the paper before you, or he/she understands the material better. Regardless, work at your own pace and accept that not everyone has the same strengths.
- Get involved. Whether it be work-study, SPUD, a club, an immersion trip, or a sports team, getting involved is a way to keep you busy during free time (trust me, there’s a lot of unstructured time in college) and it’s also a really easy way to meet people, most of whom have the same interests as you.
- Explore different classes. This is easier at Holy Cross because it is a liberal arts school and thus, requires that students take a variety of classes in different areas. Still, you have plenty of time to take different classes and discover what subjects you like, especially if you’re not sure what you want to major in.
Here are some pictures from the past month: