As the oldest sibling and the first person in my family to attend college, navigating school was difficult. I heard many things about college in general that I thought were true, but turned out to be misconceptions. Looking back now, I wish I had an older sibling or mentor to guide me through this challenging process. But now that I’ve reached my third year, I can say I’ve learned a few things.
1. You should decide what your major is before entering college.
I did not know what I wanted to do when I applied, and as a result, it set me back. I had a strong interest in the humanities, but was clueless as to which subject I was most passionate about. So for a year, I experimented and finally made a decision at the beginning of sophomore year, which was a little too late. I can confirm that those who say you can experiment for however long you want on majors that align with your interests are wrong. Experiment for a quarter or a semester only, then choose a major in order to avoid taking upper division classes so late into your college career. Pick your major as early as possible, and finish those requirements, so that by the end of senior year, the need to take a large quantity of classes is minimized.
2. It is crucial to remember that while “C’s get degrees”, C’s won’t get you into grad school.
Before, I used to think that college would be the last level of my education that I would pursue. Three years later, I changed my mind. If I had only fought harder in my classes freshman year, my GPA would definitely be higher, and I would’ve had a better chance at getting into a good grad school. Starting from the beginning, strive for As and Bs.
3. Most importantly, make friends in your classes who are in your major.
Why is this important? Because these are the same people you will most likely see in many of your classes. They also have to complete the same major requirements as you, which can help you in your classes and social life. My closest friends and I share the same major, and it is such a great feeling knowing someone understands what you are going through in terms of school. Also, complaining about a particular professor becomes easier if they know who you’re talking about. Not only will they be a great resource for school work and group study, but they can potentially be your longtime friends even after college.