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Prioritizing Your Undergraduate Time at College

Applying to college is arguably one of the scariest times in your life. What they fail to tell you is that it isn’t the being accepted or rejected part to fear, it’s what you do when you actually get there. Who will my roommate be? Where will I live? How will I make friends? What will my classes be like? What will my grades be? All of these questions circle around you, however the main one I found myself asking was “How will I prioritize my time?” It is a scary thought to think about juggling your time, your classes, your friends, and even a job. Well, if you have that same question, I am here to help and offer my best advice. 

So, prioritizing your time. You need to figure out what’s important to you and what’s not. A lot of things need to be considered and it definitely does depend on the person and student you are. However, as someone who lived their whole life caring about their grades and also valuing their friendships, this is what I have considered the best things to prioritize. 

Schoolwork during the weekdays 

Your degree is the most important thing you get at the end of college. Because of this, your grades need to be a priority in order to obtain your degree to eventually work towards a career path you love. One way I was able to prioritize my grade was by understanding my schedule and writing out every assignment I had for that week in my planner. I would get all of my classes and work done before Saturday, or at least try to, ’cause let’s be real, sometimes it is easier said than done. I saved my fun and relaxing time for the weekends. 

Woman in bed surrounded by laptop and books
Photo by Windows from Unsplash

Spend the weekends hanging out with friends

I believe that friendships are essential to being successful and happy. College can feel very lonely, and some nights all you want is to be back home with your parents and the friends you have known for eighteen years. So, prioritize meeting new people. Put yourself out there, talk to the people in your dorm or the person who sits next to you on the first day of class. Have fun on the weekends, but be safe. Go shopping with your new friends or even just hang in the dorm. Although college is about your education, it also is about having fun and living your prime young years to the fullest. 

Don’t stress too much about your post-undergraduate plans

My major is in communication disorders on the speech-language pathology track. This means that after I graduate from UMass, I will have to apply to graduate school and go for two years of extra schooling and clinical practice. This idea of going to school again has been a looming thought throughout my time here, however, I had to realize that I cannot spend the entirety of my undergraduate time worried about the future. What is meant to be will be and you don’t want to waste away the chance to have fun and meet new people with worries about something four years from now.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t consider your future plans, because you should, and you should plan your classes based on that. However, if I can end this piece with one major advice tool, it is to live in the moment and enjoy it.

Katie Hagearty

U Mass Amherst '22

Katie Hagearty is a senior at UMass Amherst with a major in communication disorders and minors in education and psychology. She hopes to become a speech pathologist one day and work with children. Katie has a passion and love for fashion, beauty, current events, and writing. She is eager to be involved in the Her Campus chapter at Umass as an outlet to write and reach others with her words and creativity.
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