Things I Have Learned So Far in College

Having just left campus last week, I began to reflect on the moments I have had this semester so far. So, I wanted to share a few things I have learned so far during my time on campus as a first year. 

  1. 1. Friends make the transition to college less hard

    Making connections before I got to college was really helpful because I came to DePauw without knowing anyone. I connected with a few people on the app ZeeMee and was able to make some good friendships. Even the people I did not end up becoming friends with, it was still nice to meet people and made me feel not so alone going into college. With that being said, I did also meet a lot of my friends on campus, especially during my first day. 

  2. 2. Arrive early to class if possible

    I had a professor last week tell me that I was dependable just because I show up to class five to ten minutes early everyday. Most kids will arrive on time or a few minutes late. Showing up late does not show your professor that you are interested in the course. Although showing up late isn’t always your fault, make sure you communicate with your professor. I had a remote class that went late very often and a class in person across campus ten minutes after. I knew on the first day that I was going to struggle with being on time for my in person class. After the first class, I went up to the professor and explained my situation and added that I did not want him to think that me being late on somedays is because of poor time management, but rather because of my class ending late. I ended up with a very good response from this and would suggest doing that if you are in the same situation.

  3. 3. Never turn in a paper without having at least one other person read it

    The first paper you turn in is always a test on what the professor likes and doesn’t like on their papers. But turning in a paper without doing multiple drafts, will usually result in not your best work and not the best grade. If you are stuck, I would suggest either asking your professor or a friend/classmate to read it. Having someone else read your paper allows for you to know how other people see it and maybe they will catch mistakes that you did not catch during your proof reading. 

  4. 4. Go to office hours with professors

    If you are stuck on a problem or confused on the topic, go to office hours. Professors will not be annoyed that you join the office hours, they will be happy that you are interested enough in their class to ask questions and be engaged in their coursework. 

  5. 5. STEM guides are a lifesaver

    STEM guide hours are a really helpful thing to go to and in my BIO 101, it counts as extra points towards participation. Maybe I got lucky, but I had a really awesome STEM guide in my BIO 101. I would go to her to ask for help on the homework or for help understanding general concepts. It really helped me better understand the course and made me feel more confident in the work I turned in.

  6. 6. Keep track of due dates and events

    Due dates and the events I had to go to each day got overwhelming, and I ended up forgetting things. To help, I made sure I took time each Sunday to write down everything I had to do each day of the upcoming week. It helped me keep a schedule and not forget things.

The first semester is always weird because you are not sure what to expect. I definitely did not know what to expect going into my first semester of college so I hope by sharing the things I have learned so far will be helpful.