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New year, new quarter, new you! As a senior, here are just a few of the lessons I’ve learned during my time here at UC Davis:

How to Study 101

It can take time to figure out what kind of studying works best for you. For years, I would force myself to sit down in quiet settings and “study.” I would get antsy, disinterested, and unfocused within the first hour. Through trial and error, I realized I liked being in public or social settings. I also realized that studying with people, especially when you’re studying for different classes, is less distracting than studying with a classmate but will keep you motivated and accountable. Music has always been a crucial part of studying for me. Sophomore year, I started listening to movie scores (no words but more upbeat than classical) and that’s been great!

Communication is Key

When I was a freshman in college, I was uncomfortable being direct and assertive when needed. Luckily, I had friends who led by example (and who would step in once in a while). But various experiences with friendships, colleagues, supervisors, and relationships have shaped how I articulate what I feel and what I hope to achieve. Learning to be direct and utilizing your voice is a process, but one that is essential to your happiness and success. Surround yourself with people who listen to what you have to say. 

Teacher’s Pet

Go to office hours! I cannot stress that enough. When making your weekly schedule in your planner or online, put in office hours as if they were another lecture to attend. That way, each week you are reminded of when they’re held and you can decide based on your class load whether or not attending would be beneficial. 

Get Social (Media)

Yes, we all have Instagram- I’m not talking about that. As soon as you start gaining professional work experience (on-campus jobs, internships, etc.) make a LinkedIn and start building your profile. Connect with your coworkers, associates, classmates, and employers from the past and present. Building an online media presence is something our generation has uniquely experienced, and this is no different. Packaging and presenting yourself to the online business world will only help you in the long run. 

Pull a Jim Carrey

Say yes more! The best experiences are the ones you don’t plan. Step out of your comfort zone. One of my best friends made a list of all the new things she accomplished in 2019 for New Year’s, as a kind of reflection on the past year that she had. I love that idea. Every day is a chance to start over – choose how you spend your time wisely, and make sure whatever you’re doing fulfills you. 


Josephine is a fourth year at the University of California Davis, where she is studying Sociology. In her free time, she enjoys picnics at the Davis Farmers Market and watching Friends. She is planning on pursuing a career in writing and hopes to be actively involved in the political realm after graduating. 
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