Dear Freshman You,
Congratulations, you just finished your first semester of college!
First off, I give you a lot of claps because that is a huge accomplish from the start. I know stepping foot inside your first class, you were a nervous wreck, but, I can see that you are a natural now. Now, resting for winter break must feel so good; however, you might be thinking about second semester already. First semester is a time to get acclimated to the campus and the overall change to the new environment. You’ll be happy to know that second semester is even better and goes even faster! Here’s some advice on what to look forward to in the next year.
Start to see what you like and don’t like
Think about which classes you find most interesting and explore options to perhaps study those subjects in more depth. Contrastingly, start to notice what you absolutely hate. If you find yourself attracted to the humanities rather than the sciences, try to find a schedule/route that best suits those interests. This will help you in the long run in deciding on what you wish to study and get a degree in.
Expand your friend group
The second semester is a great time to meet even more people. College is a time to expand your connections; and unlike high school, don’t be cliquey with one particular friend group from first semester. If you are having difficult finding people with the same interests, try joining new clubs. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and find the people you feel share the same interests and values as you.
Start getting to know your professors
First semester, many of the classes are introduction classes with a lot of people, so you may have not been able to personally know your professors and get the help you need. With your new set of classes, think about going to office hours and asking professors for advice on the class. This way, they get to know your name, and know you are a hard worker and interested in the class. Plus, it won’t hurt to build a relationship if you want a future recommendation letter from them.
Whether it is a fitness goal or receiving a particular GPA, challenge yourself during second semester. First semester was hard enough acclimating to a new environment, but now that you are more comfortable, have a goal in mind you want to achieve at the end of the semester. You’ll have something to look forward to, and it will make you determined to work hard in order to get that outcome.
Explore what your college has to offer
You may have settled only to the confines of your dorm, so now it is time to explore all that your college has to offer. Perhaps explore other areas around the college or try a new intramural sport. Check out the services provided by your college, like career or volunteer services. It’s a time to get to know your college before moving onto sophomore year.
Start thinking about what you want to do during the summer
I know, its only the beginning of the year and spring has not even started, but it is never too late to start looking at what you want to do this summer. Whether it is working to get some extra cash, studying abroad, or trying to get an internship, you want to make sure your summer is busy! Some companies start applications as soon as December for the summer season, so go to your college’s career service so they can help you find possible internships or jobs.
I hope you find this advice useful as you prepare for your second semester. Keep you head up high because it will only get better from here!
Your Future Self