Here’s What I’ve Learned: Spring Quarter Edition

Now that the commencement of Spring Quarter is prompting the end to my first year as an Aggie, I am beginning to count, not only, the good times that I have had this year as well as all of the amazing people I have had the chance to meet and work with, but I am also beginning to reflect on my mistakes. First, I’ve learned that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes. I make small mistakes every day and over the course of this year’s weeks and weekends, I am certain I have made plenty of big mistakes, too. But here are a few mistakes I’ve made this academic year:

1. Thinking this was high school

So, my initial mistake was thinking that this was like high school. Guess what: IT’S NOT! The classes are pretty big depending on which general education class you enroll in, and, if I am completely honest, it immediately made me feel SO small. But there are ways to help combat these issues. The first is actually getting involved in and taking advantage of discussions; I believe it is vital to success. During Fall Quarter, I was in a discussion for ANT 1, and I made no attempt to become close with the other students, which probably would have helped me not only make more friends early on, but also with studying for the midterms and finals that totally caught me off-guard in terms of difficulty. Another way to help with this problem is to go to office hours. It is extremely important to get that one-on-one help from professors who lecture to hundreds of students a day.  

2. Refusing to use a planner

For as long as I can remember, I have never actively used a planner. I always thought I didn’t need one because I could just remember all of the tasks I was expected to complete. Again, terrible idea. Everyone constantly reminded me that coming to college did not only mean that the academics would be more intense and the competition more prominent, but it also meant I would have to learn to be an adult and do adult things. I knew this would be the case, but nothing ever hits harder than experiencing a truly overwhelming schedule for the first time. I found that it is 100% inefficient to try to remember all appointments and due dates. Unfortunately, this simple fact didn’t faze me until I began literally forgetting about assignments and cramming in order to get them done or realizing that the midterm I was worried about wasn’t in two weeks... it was in two days. With that being said, don’t be afraid to make lists or calendars. In fact, you’ll feel relieved once you do — my roommate taught me that.

3. Not getting involved sooner  

It is no secret that UCD is a huge school. I was told that there are hundreds of clubs on campus and plenty of organizations to be apart of but there was one pertinent piece of information always missing from this conversation: where do we find these clubs and organizations? It took me the entirety of Fall Quarter to find something I wanted to become a part of, and I am still searching for more. It took me a while, but I started by reaching out to ASUCD where I found a place volunteering within the Association. Then, I became a writer for Her Campus, which I absolutely love. My advice for this is to actively search. Do more than simply going on Facebook or checking the website where all the school organizations are advertised because, frankly, they are not accurately updated, and often times the organization may not even exist anymore.

Obviously, everyone’s transition from high school to the college lifestyle is different, but remember that although mistakes will be made, they are experiences that we can learn from. If I didn’t make these mistakes, and then choose to recognize them, I wouldn’t be where I am now. So, shake off the mistakes because we all make them! Try not to see them as failures; view them as lessons learned. I promise, it definitely gets better!