Amana Hamdan is a freelance writer, a spokenword poet, and a child at heart. You can follow Amana on her blog
http://thoughtsofamana.wordpress.com/about/ and enjoy many of Amana’s forms of creative expression. Amana has a B.A. in English Writing Concentration and a Minor in Psychology from the College of Staten Island. Amana is currently working as a teacher assistant at Al Madinah School and as a tutor at the MAS Youth Center. Amana resides in Brooklyn, NY and aspires to be a published author.
When going through college life we often forget the end goal which is to get the degree and
be declared a college graduate. Now as a college student you become so wrapped up in
social activities and other responsibilities that you forget about yourself and your studies.
We even forsake our own future for less important matters and become wrapped up in the
idea of just earning a degree rather then earning “the degree” that will become a means to our
Here are some highly recommended “survival” tips that I wish I did and some that I did to stay
on a degree focused track:
The First Two Years:
Many of us in our first year will put down undecided as a major and most schools will allow
you to take all different classes in the liberal arts category. Now most schools usually tell you
to complete something called the General Educational Requirements which are courses that
the school requires you to take. Whether your undecided or not you should complete those
Gen. Ed. requirements in your first two years. If you let those courses drag on after those two
years those courses will be in the way when you are trying to complete the required courses
of your major. This also may lead you to another year or semester of schooling, and not allow
you to focus on just the courses in your major. For example, if your earning a degree in
Biology and you put down 1 course for your major and 3 courses from the Gen. Ed. such as,
Art, Music, and Health then you’re really wasting time with these courses. If your still
undecided then take courses that fill your interests as well as complete your Gen. Ed.
Do not I repeat do not solely rely on your school counselor/advisor, any individual, or your
school’s database system to check to see how far you are in to being done with your degree
requirements. There are many students who solely relied on someone or some system and
ended up staying in school longer. I recommend you look at the school’s database as a
reference to see if their doing it right. Write out the classes you have taken and need to take
to complete your degree requirements. Write out the number of semesters you need to
complete your degree and fill it up with the classes your currently taking and the classes you
need to take and check off the classes you have taken. If you wish to see an
advisor/counselor always come prepared with your own written degree finished plan first to
see if you or your advisor missed something. Afterall everyone makes mistakes and having a
planned outline of how your going to finish your degree in the estimated time frame you want
to finish by your more then halfway of reaching your goal.
The Advisors, and the Doubters:
Your going to receive all kinds of advice from all different kinds of people. The advisors will
give you good and bad advice it’s up to you which ones are good and bad. The doubters arealways going to be skeptical on your plans and put you down in many ways, but use their
negativity as your drive to succeed not the other way around. Take each ounce of advice with
a grain of salt. People mean well but in the end it’s your life and it’s up to you to decide how
you want to live it. If you fail it’s fine. You learn something from every failure and if you decide
to take a different route such as, changing your major well at least now you know the end
result of that route instead of looking back years from now wondering what would have
happened if you did.Try not to take everything you hear to heart because at times it can be
overwhelming with all the mountains of advice you’ll be receiving. It’s best if you go with the
flow and see where life takes you.
You sacrifice your time, your relationships, your wealth, even your health just to reach your
aim in life. You may not know what you want to do with your life right now, but remember your
in college to not only to earn a degree but exercise the muscle of the mind and fill it with
knowledge that will benefit your future and the world. College has a lot to do with time
management. If you have time for something do it if you don’t then don’t do it. Now you may
have many setbacks depending on what life throws at you but as long as you keep the goal in
mind and stay heading towards it then you will get there no matter how long it takes.
College life is no picnic. It takes a great deal of discipline, focus, planning, time management,
and dedication to achieve what you want to achieve whether it’s a 3.5 GPA, B.A., Honors, etc.
as long as you keep the goal in mind and in sight there’s nothing stopping you from reaching