If I could turn back the clock, and tell myself a few pieces of advice this time last year, I would. The first year of University for me, especially the first semester, was really tough, and if I had known everything I know now, and actually listened to the advice people gave me, things wouldn’t have been so bad.
Here are the things that I really wish I had known!
Go to class.
Seriously. Get your little butt out of bed, get on the bus, and go to class! There is nothing more important than actually going to class. Even if you feel like you’re not learning anything, or if it’s a waste of your time, just go. If you don’t, you’ll fall behind in class, and end up overwhelmed and stressed out.
Do. Your. Readings.
Seriously. I know you don’t think it’s important to read those two chapters of your PoliSci textbook every week, but it is. It’s easy to put of readings, but it’s not easy to read an entire textbook a few days before your exam, let alone remember any of the information you were supposed to know weeks before. Suck it up. Read your textbooks, take your notes, and stay on top of things!
Be realistic with your goals.
There are going to be days you wake up and decide you’re going to study an hour for each of your classes, and that’s great! But when 20 minutes in, you get antsy and start to clean your room, and next thing you know it’s time to go to bed. Ooops! Instead of deciding to dive in head first, take it slow! Commit to 20 minutes, and then work up to 30. You have to know yourself and know what you’re capable of, and don’t kid yourself!
Get used to it.
If you’re in school, and you’re going to be in school for the next 4 or so years, you might as well get used to it. Get used to class, and readings, and more importantly, get used to the student lifestyle. Going to bed early, waking up early, turning down club invites and drinking a million cups of coffee a day. Just embrace it with open arms.
Balance in life is beyond important, and when yo throw yourself into a new world, it can be hard to land on both your feet. When I was in my first semester, I made the mistake of going to class all week, and then working Friday and Saturday nights. I didn’t get to see my friends for almost a month. It was brutal. This coming year, I’ve decided to make a commitment to balance my school, friends, work and sleep. Don’t forget about sleep!
Do it for yourself.
Study for yourself, exercise for yourself, and everything else you do, do it for yourself! There’s no better reason to do something other than for yourself.