What My First Semester of College Was Like & Tips

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Background Information: I took dual credit classes in high school, so I actually transferred to college with 33 hours which makes me a sophomore. I say freshman year because it’s basically my first year of officially attending a university.

I don’t think I have ever mentioned what my major is. I am a double major meaning I will graduate with two majors. I know!! It’s way too stressful. I am an Early Childhood Education major and Biochemistry major. They are completely different, but it’s my calling. This semester I took 19 hours, and let me tell you it was the biggest mistake I could have done, especially since it was my freshman year. I came into this situation with a positive view, but it hit me like a ton of bricks that I wasn’t going to be able to make it or at least that’s what I thought. I should have probably dropped a class, but being the stubborn person I am I didn’t. I have never accepted failure because I am a perfectionist and that’s the way my dad taught me.

I was taking 6 classes and on Wednesdays, I left my house at 7 AM and didn’t leave campus until 9 PM or later depending what labs we were doing that day. Keep in mind that I chose to live with my parents while I lived 30 minutes away from campus, so it’s not like I could go to my dorm and take a break. I was stuck on campus. It was also hard for me to attend any fun events or make actual friends (but I am blessed with the best). There were days that I would forget to eat that my dad had to text me a reminder. Being so busy, I neglected my most important class, biology. While I got perfect grades in my other classes, my grade for biology wasn’t so hot. I was and still am very disappointed because I am not the type of person to get bad grades.

I cried so much during this period more than my whole life. Almost every other week I would break down crying in the car after leaving school. There was a time where I questioned if I was actually good enough to go to medical school. Had I chosen the wrong career? Am I even going to make it out my first semester? Questions flooded my head. After all, I never thought I could become a doctor until my high school anatomy teacher showed me the possibilities and believed in me. She gave me that spark that I needed to light up.

I know I can’t rewind time, but there are so many things that I could have done to change this outcome.

  1. Do NOT procrastinate. Take it from me, in high school, it was perfectly acceptable to procrastinate because even if you took AP or accelerated classes they weren’t so hard and the teachers basically spoonfed you everything you needed to know. In college, you write your own notes and study them. Waiting last minute is not going to cut it if you want perfect grades. Do NOT wait until the last minute to study for a midterm!
  2. Manage your time. Don’t waste time meaning if you have free time during classes take the time to review what you did in class. It’s okay to take breaks. I am not telling to just focus on school, but do try to make an effort because after all, you are paying for the education, might as well make it a good one.
  3. Make your own study guides. I was so good at doing this in high school, and I don’t know what happened to me this year. You will not believe how helpful making study guides are. Not only can you study them, but by writing the information out it is helping you remember more information.
  4. Plan your schedule. As I mentioned before, I made the mistake of taking way too many hours. I wanted to finish college within a four-year period, and my solution was to take as many classes as I could. Ease yourself into something new. Plan a coordinately to what you KNOW your limits are. Don’t overload yourself with what you believe your limits are.

It is OKAY to fail or to feel like you have failed because when you feel as if you’ve reached rock bottom, that’s a pretty great place to rebuild from.

“When you have the faith to BELIEVE, you WIN either way.”
“FAITH turns rock bottom into STEPPING STONES.”
“If you’re not seeing the GOOD yet, then God’s NOT DONE yet.”

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I'm Shelly! A college student trying to make it in life.


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  1. 12.6.17
    Jenn said:

    Love the encouraging quotes! I remember those college times, and I agree with everything you said. Planning and prioritizing is very important when one has a busy schedule! Thanks for sharing!

    Jenn | http://www.lepetittato.com/