College Life,  Lifestyle

All Aboard the College Express

Photo courtesy of Markus Leo on Unsplash.

Back in the Day

I remember when I first started college. It wasn’t even a major university but a local community college. I had severe anxiety a few days before my first day. I survived. As the days went on, I ended up enjoying my time at community college. During this time, I was going to be a graphic design major. I was set on it because it was something I enjoyed and still enjoy. There’s one art class that I took that changed my perception on my chosen major.

Before I started university, I met with an advisor to figure out what direction I should go in as far as my major. I was set on radio and television but the advisor guided me to my current major, instead. I am a Writing and Rhetoric major with a Mass Communication minor. Many people ask me what writing and rhetoric is and it’s difficult to explain. My university defines it as “Students in our undergraduate and graduate programs receive a comprehensive education in writing and rhetoric that enables them to communicate effectively, persuasively, and ethically across a range of civic, professional, and educational contexts.” You may be like: wait, what? Basically, I’ve been learning how to use my writing abilities to communicate in a way that makes things easier to comprehend.

Once I started at university, I wasn’t anxious at all. This was something that surprised me. In the summer of 2019, I completed my first semester all online. In the fall, I took my classes on campus. The campus isn’t close to where I live so it’s quite a long ride. I loved going to campus. I felt like an adult and felt such freedom that I don’t have when I’m home. 

In the spring of 2020, this is when everything changed. We were in the midst of a major pandemic (and still are). My classes went fully remote for the last bit of the semester. I guess you can say that I’ve had a unique college experience. My fall 2020 classes were fully remote, one class that I even did on Zoom.

As I’m currently writing this, I’m now a senior about to begin my final semester of college and possibly the last time I will be in school, ever. This is if I don’t go to graduate school to elevate my education. It’s crazy to think how fast these last 4 years went by. It scares me that after this I will be going out into the real world, find a job that pays well, and gain more experience in the writing industry so I can complete my long-term career goal.

You may asking yourself, why are you telling us all this? I wanted to share my college experience with all of you and give you some tips if you’re a college freshman on how to survive your first semester and even the rest of your time in college.

My Tips as a College Senior

Your first semester may be overwhelming at first. It was for me at least. It’s a big change from high school. Most of the time, you don’t know anyone. You feel like a fish out of water. Trust me, it gets easier.

Here are my tips on surviving college:

Get involved. This is something that I regret that I could’ve done sooner. I’ve discovered many organizations as a senior. Find a club that sparks your interest. Are you an artist? Join an art club. Do you like video games? Join a video game club. Find something that you enjoy. It’s a way for you to meet other like-minded people who have similar interests.

Undeclared? Don’t stress. If you’re not sure what you want to major in, don’t worry. There are many people who are in the same boat. You may not know what you want to do with your life and it’s not a bad thing. Dip your toes into different things. I promise you will find something. If you don’t, you have more time.

Grades don’t matter. You may reading this and think: “Girl, what?!” It’s true. One of my teachers in high school opened my eyes to this. Yes, they may lead you to get a job while you’re in college and possibly after you graduate but they’re just capital letters. I feel like most of us were raised to care so much about grades when they truly don’t matter.

Internships matter. Does your major require you to complete an internship? Mine did. Let me tell you even if your major doesn’t require it, I highly suggest it. Internships prepare you for the real world and give you job experience. I completed mine within my major as an editorial intern.

To live on campus or to live off campus? I contemplated about living off campus but it was expensive and it just was silly considering I only had two classes that upcoming semester. I do kind of regret not doing it because it would’ve been interesting to live on my own. If you want that authentic college experience, live on or off campus. This is if you feel comfortable in terms of the current state of the world.

Online classes aren’t as bad as you think. I actually love online classes but I know some of you out there don’t. I know it’s a little harder now as most of us attend Zoom university. Do some time management. Figure out certain times of the day where you want to work on one class and then another.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t know where to find a building your class is in? Ask for some help from another student, professor, or faculty member. Trying to find somewhere to eat? Do the same thing. Asking questions is not a bad thing at all. It’s good. It shows that you’re interested or that you care.

Remember to have fun. College can be stressful so don’t forget to rest and/or take breaks. Go have some fun with your friends. 

Closing Thoughts

I hope sharing my college experience and these tips have helped you to not be so anxious as you embark on your journey as a college student.

Good luck to all of you!

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