There is something good about today. Itâ€™s Friday, and itâ€™s the last day of your first week back for the spring semester. Now for the bad news. There are 15 weeks of class left until summer break.
However, today is the day to commit to making this semester better than any other one you have had.
There are several ways you can do this. The first thing you need to do is set some goals for yourself: What do you want your GPA to be? What kind of social interaction do you desire? How can you prepare yourself for a career?
Once you have these goals, set out a plan for yourself. It is important to make time to study, but itâ€™s equally important to set aside time for you and for your friends. If you donâ€™t, you may implode before the end of the semester.
Pick a hobby, or continue doing those you already enjoy. Itâ€™s important to give your brain time off from school, or you will get burned out and fall into that â€œapatheticâ€ category of wanderers on campus.
Your hobby can be anything you enjoy; the important thing is that you enjoy it. It can be painting, biking, knitting or brewing beer. Itâ€™s important to dedicate time each week to doing that activity. It will help you relax and use other non-class related skills.
Having fun is important to maintaining success in school, but donâ€™t party too much. As appealing as it sounds to sleep all day, you must realize you are paying to be here. I know you probably donâ€™t think what you are doing right now will affect your future, but it can and will.
Go to class. Every class you miss costs you roughly $14.60, based on 15 credits as an in-state student. If you are an outâ€“of-state student, you can just about double that. Itâ€™s no big deal if you miss one, but if you habitually miss, thatâ€™s a lot of wasted cash.
If you have the time, join an intramural sport or a club. Itâ€™s a great way to relieve stress, while engaging in social interaction and friendly competition.
Most have minimal costs and are only one day a week or less.
Seek out and get career experience. It doesnâ€™t matter what field you are going into, the more experience you have, the better. Find an internship or volunteer to work for a local company. Most of them need the help, and you develop valuable skills out of the deal. In todayâ€™s job market, experience will begin to matter almost more than education for entry-level positions.
Get some sleep. I know what itâ€™s like to stay up late and study, and at some point I realize I am no longer retaining information. You will do better with more sleep than if you stay up all night trying to learn and remember nothing.
Take a risk. Iâ€™m not talking about walking into moving traffic, but moving yourself outside of your comfort zone will help you to grow, as well as gain life experience. It may be as simple as going to a new coffee shop, or as daring as going on a blind date. It doesnâ€™t matter what you do, stay safe, and do something that makes you uncomfortable. The rewards are far worth the effort.
If this is your last semester in college, enjoy it. If you are like I am, you are probably ready to get out into the â€œreal world.â€ But you will come to find out it isnâ€™t nearly as exciting as you might think. You will have more responsibilities and less free time. Enjoy your time now, and have the best semester you have had yet.
Robyn Scherer is a graduate student studying integrated resource management. Her column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.