With finals, saying goodbye to friends, and holiday shopping, there’s a lot going on at the end of first semester.
That being said, once winter break starts there is finally time to focus on other things. Something that starts to weigh on a lot of people’s minds is second semester. People wonder, “What clubs should I participate in? What about my schedule? Should I get a job or an internship?” It can get really overwhelming.
Instead of freaking out about second semester over break, use this time to evaluate how you are feeling about your first semester. Determining what made you happy first semester will help you decide what to stick with and what to change.
In terms of clubs, this is a good time to think about what you see benefiting you the most in the long run. During first semester a lot of people sign up for every club that have even just a slight interest in and end up on a million email lists for clubs. Due to this, you might have bounced around first semester and attended a random assortment of meetings and activities. While this is perfectly normal and acceptable for first semester, second semester is a good time to narrow down your commitment to only a few clubs. This allows for you to have a deeper connection to the activity and the people in the club. On top of this, it looks better on your resume to have a few clubs you were really involved in, then a never-ending list of clubs you were barely a part of.
With regards to academics, this would be a good time to reach out to your academic advisor. They can be a great resource to make sure that you are on track not only for your major, but also the general university requirements. You don’t want to suddenly find out you are missing multiple classes that are highly sought after senior year and risk not getting into the class. Plus, talking to your advisor is an easy way to calm your nerves if you are just feeling jittery about your schedule and want reassurance.
Now comes a hard question – an internship, a job, or focusing on your studies? Take a deep breath, because there is no right answer. There’s not set formula for success in life.
Just because one person who got an internship got a great job, doesn’t mean that if you get an internship you a guaranteed a great job too. Maybe you would benefit from focusing on your classes, since it will give you a stronger GPA and chance to make connections with some people already in your field – your professors. Don’t let success stories sway your decision. Pick what you think will make you the most happy, because when you are happy you work hard and that passion is really what matters.
In the end, the key is picking what makes you happy. When you reflect back on college you aren’t going to remember every single class, grade, club, or internship you partook in. You will remember how you felt about what you were doing, so pick things you love.