Five tips for new students in college

My name is Laurel Alexander and I will be graduating from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Library Science this December. Let me tell you a secret that I’ve learned in the last four years. College is not easy. At first you think it’s a breeze. You live with your friends, food arrives on a plastic pre-paid platter, and for the most part, you can skip your class and no one will lecture you. You can religiously study, take up a residency in the library, and skip out of the school courtyard in four years with a perfect GPA, stressed, exhausted, and unprepared for the real world.

Make The Most Of It

After my first year, I wound up with a 2.25 GPA. I put off essays until the night before, watched a season a day on Netflix. I was often late to class. In an entry level history course, if I wasn’t in the room within the first ten minutes, I wasn’t allowed to attend. My freshman year, I discovered something about myself. I needed some sort of regularity to succeed. The next semester, I set personal schedules for myself, but made sure to make a little bit of time for me to kick back with a coffee and a few friends. I nearly burned out in my sophomore year. Taking time off helped me succeed.

After getting my feet settled on the ground, I took off the blinders that saw only homework or socializing. There was a whole campus for me to explore. I got a job at my university library, found multiple social circles to be part of, and found my way to an officer in a student organization. I have been able to show other students how to avoid what I went through. I can give them the support network to succeed, pointing them to certain professors that can help them on English essays, tutors for math and science courses, but to remember that they should still step back a little bit to relax.

Look at your campus. Look at the resources that you are already paying for in your tuition and the student organizations that are open and available to you. Make the most of your college experience and get involved. Discovering there is a world bigger than a tiny shared dorm room made me find who I was and even helped me pay more attention in class. Paying attention in class has helped me communicate to professors and made a relationship with them. I’ve become more excited to learn and found the fully rounded person that I’ve known I could be. You always see this dramatic transformation of people in college movies. Yours might not be a dramatic ugly troll into beautiful Disney princess. Looking at resources has made me appreciate what is around me and made me ask what I can do with them to help others. Prove to others that you are not just getting a piece of paper, but something that will improve your life and those around you

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