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First Semester Roundup: What I Learned During My First Semester


Congratulations: Welcome to second semester! I managed to get through my first semester of college alive, and here are the top 5 tips that I learned.


1: Just Do Your Work

There was the fateful day that I learned my lesson when it came to procrastinating on writing essays or just doing assignments in general. I was in a 200-level english class my first semester and one of the assignments was a seven-to-nine page research paper based on some of the arguments found in the novels. To put it nicely, I did not want to do this essay, so naturally I kept putting it off. I ignored my professor’s adamant reminders to not put off this essay until I found myself in the library the day before the due date, writing page after page of words that I have since forgotten because I was just too overwhelmed. Needless to say, that wasn’t my proudest moment, but it made me conscious of due dates and has helped me not procrastinate as much.


2: Don’t be Afraid to Let People Go

First semester is usually a time of finding yourself, along with the people you want to be around. I was extremely lucky to have met some people before school, along with on the second night we were in the dorms, who have stuck with me through first semester, but there were friendships I had to let go of. I felt bad, but ultimately you have to understand that if you are not happy in a friendship, they won’t either. They need to find people who enjoy their company, and if you can’t do that, it is important to not feel guilty about letting them go. I will say that telling them and talking to them about it is a good idea, which is something I did not do, but ultimately look at the relationship and decide if it will be beneficial for both you and them.


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

3: The Upperclassmen Aren’t Mean, I Promise

I was really intimidated by the upperclassmen when I first came to school because I figured they would dislike us like the seniors in high school usually don’t like the freshmen. I thought they wouldn’t want to have anything to do with us. By the end of the first week of classes, though, I learned that while they might not interact with you too much, they will help you if you ask. They remember what it was like to be a first-year, too, and so if you’re nice, they’ll probably help you out a little bit.


4: Take the Stairs

This also applies to walking around campus, but don’t cheap out and take the easy way, like the elevator. I managed to avoid the freshman-15 through taking the stairs and walking places instead of driving. Sometimes you’re sick or tired and you won’t want to take the extra effort, but it will pay off in the end.


5: Buy a Watch

This one is a simple thing I learned, but professors really don’t want your phone out. Sometimes you can’t get to your phone and the clock is covered by the projector screen, but you need to know what time it is. Buy a watch. I didn’t have one last semester, and just having one on me this past week of classes has been a miracle.

Lillian Jackson

Agnes Scott '22

Lillian is a freshman at Agnes Scott College, planning on double-majoring in Psychology and English. She grew up just outside Atlanta, and loves exploring the city. In her free time she does chorus, theatre, plays cello, paints, and watches YouTube.
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