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5 Ways to Make This Semester Your Best Semester Yet

By Manuela Domingos

Starting a new semester always brings feelings of excitement - and anxiety. New classes. New schedules. New professors. New opportunities. There so much that one semester brings. But remember, things don’t have to be stressful. As a college student in her last year of undergrad, I definitely have some tips & word of advice for those who want to be successful in their undergrad career. I’ve compiled a list below, handy enough for you to use!


Get, get, get involved! The best way to network and make friends is by getting involved with your school. Find out ways that you can be a part of your school’s organizations, whether it be joining your Student Government Association or pledging to a fraternity or sorority. Starting school in a foreign place can be intimidating. Making friends might even seem harder. By being a part of an organization, you’re likely to find people that share the same interests that you do. The friends I met during my freshmen year in SGA are people that made my initial college experience a memorable one. Don’t hesitate to join! You won’t regret it.

Pay Attention in Class. EVERY Penny Counts. Chances are your parents are paying your education, you’re taking out loans, or you’re receiving financial aid. As tempting as it is, we’re all guilty of falling victim to technology and social media. You may find the need to “snap your first lecture” or check out your Twitter feed while you’re in class. But remember, every deflected attention away from class time adds up. Eliminate bad habits early. Put the phone away, and if you’re using your laptop to take notes, do not be tempted to do other things online. Remember how much money you’re spending on your education. Consume every ounce of knowledge, be a part of class discussions. You will be tempted to fall asleep. You will probably fall asleep. But remember that you can always control the bad habits before they become harder to eliminate.

The total amount of money I’ve spent on books throughout my undergrad career would probably be sufficient enough to cover a heart surgery.

Find Other Alternatives on Purchasing Books. I’m convinced that the total amount of money I’ve spent on books throughout my undergrad career would probably be sufficient enough to cover a heart surgery. Books are ridiculously expensive. I recommend waiting till the first day of class to see what books you actually need before purchasing them. Look around and see if others that have already taken your class are selling books you could buy for cheap. You can also find good deals online. Remember, research, research, research! 

Start a Good Study Habit. Good habits breed young. As a freshman, chances are you’ll be overly excited because you’re finally in college. You’d want to go to all the parties, hang out with friends, stay up late, and do everything but think about your GPA. A lot of people I’ve talked to that have graduated college always say their biggest regrets were not taking their studies seriously. If they just pushed harder enough, then they would have that GPA. They began to notice the consequences once they started applying to grad schools and got rejected for a low GPAs. If you’re fully packed with 1,000 extracurricular activities, if you’re an athlete 100% sure that you’ll get drafted, if you’re are able to juggle 4 internships at one time, and if you have the most wonderful work experience already under your belt, then I’d say don’t care about your GPA. But if you are like most of us, who don’t fall under any of those categories, you should probably say “no” to that Friday night out and stay in and hit the books. If you start forming good study habits earlier on, it will be much easier to keep up. Trust me, your overall GPA will thank you later on for it!

Enjoy Your College Experience, Don’t Be Hard On Yourself. Time flies. Boy, does it fly. Enjoy every moment of your college experience. I say this because I feel like it was just yesterday when I started college. I can’t believe that I will graduate in about eight months, God willing. It flies. Make sure you don’t take any moment for granted. You will fail. There will be tears. Chances are you might meet someone that will change your life or someone that would make you feel like you wish you’d never met them. Everything will teach you something about yourself and I guarantee you that you will not be the same person after you leave. Remember, you are in control of your own destiny. It’s not the circumstances that matter. It’s how you chose to act based on those events.

Keep up with Manuela on Instagram, @_manuelad!