3 Lessons I am Taking With Me into Sophomore Year

It’s that time of the year! You’re rejuvenated from the summer and you’re ready for a semester of success! When I was a freshman last year, I thought I was ready to conquer the world in the fall. Boy, was I wrong. Since then, I’ve picked up some major lessons that I would love to share! Hopefully, my readers won’t make the same mistakes that I once did.

1. Be flexible in your study habits

Via Me and My BIG Ideas

If you’re anything like me, you start planning your classes weeks way before you need to. Every year, I buy textbooks in advance, purchase notebooks and binders for every class, and figure out how I want to study ahead of time. I want to be at the top of my game from the very beginning. Unfortunately, I quickly figured out that wasn’t a productive mindset. What I learned last year is that every class is different. Some classes don’t use their textbooks at all, some are lecture styles that require a lot of note taking, while some are discussion based. Some professors have tests that require verbatim memory, while others require critical thinking. It’s impossible to know all of this before classes even start. What I had to learn (the hard way), is that I can’t figure out how to be successful in a class until after the first test. That is the time where you realize how the class truly functions and what the professor wants from you. Don’t waste too much of your time now in trying to establish a solid routine for your classes. Odds are, you will have to change it later on.

2. You Come First

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When I was on a extracurricular spree last year, my friends always yelled at me to take care of myself. I, of course, always ignored them. While I ended up being able to manage it all, I was physically and mentally drained all the time. That’s why this year, I am deciding that I will always come first. If I feel like I’m tired, I’ll take a nap. If I’m overwhelmed, I will actually verbalize that. If I cannot help out someone, I will politely say no. In addition, I have my Sunday nights reserved for Netflix and face masks. Little things like these have already been making me feel healthier. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t push yourself, but it’s important to understand your limits. At the end of the year, what is more important than your well-being?

3. Experiences Matter

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Via AFAR Magazine

In high school, I had always prioritized studying over everything else. That same mindset snaked in to my freshman year of college. I would give up opportunities to go to DC, Mason events and hang out with my friends to ensure that I would get more time to study. While schoolwork and grades are extremely important, we have to cut ourselves slack sometimes. The college experience is not limited to just your transcript, but it’s also about the memories you make. Now I try to prioritize some fun time in my schedule. It not only makes me a happier person, but I feel refreshed when I come back to complete my unfinished work.

Looking back, these were the three of my biggest learning lessons. I wish I didn’t have to learn the hard way, but hey, at least I learned! I’m looking forward to being a healthier and happier version of myself this year. We hope that you are too, Collegiettes!